Anantnag: The Trauma Hospital in Bijbehara, now designated for COVID-19, is so understaffed that there are only two paramedics and a single (lady) doctor available for the admitted patients, 44 of them at present.
The hospital was designated as a COVID-19 hospital along with 14 other hospitals across Kashmir valley. Initially, only pregnant women who tested positive for COVID were kept at the facility but these days even other patients, including men, are being admitted to the hospital.
“At present we have 44 patients at the hospital and the number is swelling each day,” a staff member of the hospital told Kashmir Reader, adding that while other facilities were getting better at the hospital, there was serious dearth of staff.
The hospital, despite the increasing number of patients, has only one doctor and two paramedics available for patients, at any given time. “The doctor is a lady, as the hospital was earlier used exclusively for pregnant women. Now other patients are being brought in to the hospital as well and we need more doctors,” an insider at the hospital told Kashmir Reader.
He said that while the doctor also finds it difficult to attend to all these patients, it is the paramedics who are feeling all the heat at the hospital. “Can you imagine a single nurse and a pharmacist attending to 45 patients through the night? And these are patients who need extreme care with their oxygen supply, their medicine and other things,” the hospital insider said.
He said that the nurse and the paramedic on duty are exhausted to their core in a matter of a few hours. “It is no joke to attend to so many patients. Besides, such exertion on our bodies will burn us out before this intense second wave is over,” he said.
The patients and attendants that Kashmir Reader talked to also acknowledged the issue. They said that they were really grateful to the hospital staff that they were attending to each and every patient.
“But it gets unmanageable for them at times for they are only humans. And at such times the lives of patients are at stake. The administration should take steps and make sure staff is enhanced at the hospital,” Nazir Ahmad, an attendant, told Kashmir Reader.
Kashmir Reader talked to Director Health Services, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, who assured that the issue will be taken care of soon. “I have been monitoring the hospital and recently have deputed more doctors to the facility. I will look into the matter and make sure the number of paramedics is strengthened as well,” Rather told Kashmir Reader.