Principal of GMC had claimed, falsely, of having 40 ICU beds
Anantnag: An embarrassed administration on Wednesday rushed a fact finding team to Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital in Anantnag after an official press release mentioned that the “hospital had 40 ICU beds” while the information department bulletin maintained that the facility had no such beds at all.
On his visit to Anantnag on Tuesday Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was informed that the hospital had 40 ICU beds by none other than the Principal of the GMC, Dr Showkat Jeelani.
Subsequently, the claim attributed to the principal found mention in the press release issued by the administration regarding Sinha’s one-day visit to Anantnag.
The daily media bulletin by the Information Department, however, kept maintaining that there were no Covid-ICU beds at the hospital, the erstwhile district hospital of Anantnag.
“Every evening the information department releases a media bulletin on its Twitter handle and there is a clear zero against the number of ICU beds at GMC Anantnag,” a highly placed source in the health department said while talking to Kashmir Reader.
The source said that it was beyond his comprehension that there would be such a huge discrepancy in communication between the hospital administration and the information department.
“Clearly, one of them is lying and I guess it is not the information department,” the source told Kashmir Reader.
There was also widespread criticism to the claims made by the principal on social media, particularly by doctors and general public of Anantnag district who have been frequenting the hospital and know the ground realities.
“There are four such beds, which the hospital administration likes to call an ICU unit. But it is more of a general ward as not even a single patient had been intubated at the facility till May 16, as I know. Patients in need of invasive ventilation are being referred to Srinagar,” a medic posted at the hospital told Kashmir Reader, on condition of anonymity.
He said that about 19 people died at the hospital between May 10 and May 16 who could have been saved if there was invasive ventilation available.
“Even though the hospital now has some ventilators – some of them invasive as well – but with untrained staff and the ICU unit being ill equipped, such patients are still referred to Srinagar,” the medic at the hospital said.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the administration hurriedly rushed a “fact finding team” to the hospital headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Anantnag, Ghulam Hassan Sheikh.
Sheikh was accompanied by a team of doctors from Srinagar as well.
“They have taken a tour of the hospital and they have been briefed about the facilities. Now they are in a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner,” a source in the Anantnag district administration told Kashmir Reader.
Kashmir Reader tried talking to Sheikh and one of the doctors, Dr Waseem Qureshi, accompanying him to the hospital. While Sheikh did not receive repeated calls, Qureshi acknowledged that he was in a meeting with the DC and could not talk.
What facts the team finds will be interesting to keep track of.