Counting food packets and tinkering with duty roster their other priorities
Anantnag: Officials with no medical qualifications being entrusted with administering the Covid hospitals in Anantnag is turning out to be severely unproductive and disrupting to the overall work of these hospitals as the priorities of these administrators are hardly centered on effective functioning of the health care facilities, sources in the health department told Kashmir Reader.
Apart from the Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag, there are two other designated Covid hospitals in the district – the Trauma Hospital in Bijbehara and a New Type PHC in Akura area on the outskirts of Anantnag town.
The working of the Trauma Hospital is being administered by an official from the Agriculture department, while the committee formed to oversee the working of the NTPHC in Akura is headed by an official from the Animal Husbandry department.
While the NTPHC of Akura has not been put to use till now, the working of the Trauma Hospital in Bijbehara has been severely affected by a non-medico administering things, sources at the hospital said.
“It is unfortunate that people with no medical background are meddling with the affairs of a hospital in such crucial times,” a source at the hospital said, adding, “They are least bothered about the functioning of the hospital. All they do is click pictures, keep track of the food packets being distributed, and tinker with the hospital roster every day.”
The sources told Kashmir Reader that along with this Agriculture officer, several of his juniors in the office are regularly interfering in the working of the hospital.
“Recently, the hospital acquired a few wheelchairs and these people came in to have a photoshoot with the wheelchairs. The next day, there was a photoshoot with municipal committee workers who had come to clean the hospital. They upload these pictures in an official WhatsApp group to keep the seniors in good humour,” sources in the hospital said.
The sources also said that the officials from the Agriculture department take stock of the food packets distributed at the hospital several times a day.
Above all, the sources said, these people tinker with the hospital roster so often that the doctors and paramedics have been left frustrated and in a fix.
“The matters of priority, like refilling of oxygen cylinders, essentials for the hospital staff, the working of the oxygen plant and other important things do not fit in the list of their priorities at all,” the sources said. “We don’t understand what was the need of these officials in the first place.”
The Trauma Hospital and the NTPHC at Akura were administrative quarantine centres last year and officials from non-medical background were appointed to overlook their working.
“Back then it was all about keeping people in isolation and providing them food. It was fine to have people from non-medical background to look after such things. Not now, though, when a slight mistake can cost us a human life,” a doctor in one of these hospitals told Kashmir Reader.
This reporter called Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Piyush Singla, to talk about the issue. He sought details on a text message and replied with, “Everywhere Medical Superintendents are there.”
He did not reply to further questions posed by this reporter.