Power shutdown hits emergency services in Hazratbal hospital

Doctors say frequent shutdowns put patients at risk

Srinagar: Patient care has taken a hit at Sub-district hospital Hazratbal due to frequent electricity breakdown because the power corporation failed to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the health institution in
the Valley.
According to doctors, Sub-district hospital (SDH) Hazratbal doesn’t have a dedicated power connection from the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) despite receiving nearly 500 patients including the
critical ones on a daily basis.
“The frequent power cuts lead to frustration among patients and staff members especially doctors as they handle patients in the Causality and Operation theatres daily,” said a surgeon.
“Darkness surrounds us during the critical moments which sometimes turn ugly,” he said.
Recently, a team of doctors had to stop a critical operation in middle of the night after sudden power breakdown in the intervening night of January 11 and 12.
“Such incidents are routine at our institution. However, this time I had to rush to the hospital in middle of the night to arrange for a backup. Thank God I could arrange a power generator otherwise situation could have
turned deadly for the patient,” Block Medical Officer (BMO) Hazratbal, Dr Hashmat Sultana told Kashmir Reader.
She said the KPDCL authorities had turned deaf ears towards their pleas despite repeated requests and reminders.
“I have written several letters to the power department and personally conveyed to chief engineers and concerned executive engineers but nothing substantial happened till date,” the BMO said.
A lab technician posted at SDH Hazratbal said that diagnostic services had also been affected badly due to unscheduled power cuts at the hospital especially during the snowfall.
“We are forced to discard hundreds of blood and other samples everyday because sudden power failure makes the diagnostic machines erroneous,” he said.
According to him, every lab and other diagnostic facility is running on uninterrupted power supply but in absence of that the situation becomes tough for all.
“It has lead to the conflict between staff and patients because some of them don’t understand our limitations,” the technician said.
Chief Engineer KPDCL, Ajaz Dar admitted that SDH Hazratbal is linked to the common feeder which is why the power breakdown is the issue. However, he said the dedicated power line will be provided to the hospital only when a
proper procedure is followed by the hospital administration.
“The hospital authorities should send a written request to us and arrange funds sanctioned from the district administration or the health department so that the file is processed on priority,” he said.

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