Kashmiris preferring outside hospitals

Patients rue over-crowding, long waiting lists, non-availability of major investigations

 Increasing number of Kashmiris are visiting other states for medical treatment with experts citing over-crowding, long waiting lists and non-availability of major investigations in Kashmir hospitals as major reasons for the phenomenon.
Experts say that in Kashmir hospitals, equipments haven’t been upgraded for more than two decades and medicine given to patients are sub-standard.
A senior doctor at Kashmir’s premier tertiary-care hospital, SKIMS, said that Kashmir hospitals lack the equipment needed for early and accurate diagnosis of diseases. “Here we do not have facilities like liver transplant centre and linear accelerator. This forces patients to go outside the state for treatment,” the senior doctor said.
“Equipments are not being upgraded here which result in poor diagnosis. It is forcing patients to get themselves admitted in different hospitals of New Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai,” he said, adding that despite lack of resources, attendants are left with no option but to get their patients shifted to outside the state.
“In order to improve the healthcare, the infrastructure of the hospitals — buildings, technology, latest biomedical equipment like CT scan machines, ultrasound machines, X-ray equipment, auto-analyzers, etc. have to be upgraded,” he added.
Another senior doctor at SMHS Hospital said that in Kashmir hospitals there is no set-up which would act as a barrier or a check to a minor clinical problem from barging into intensive care set-up of a tertiary-care hospital.
The senior doctor revealed that in the name of free medicines, patients are being provided sub-standard medicine in government hospitals. “Sub-standard medicine also adds to worries of the patients,” he said.
A Kashmiri doctor working in a private hospital in New Delhi told Greater Kashmir that a good number of Kashmiri patients get admitted in his hospital.
Former Director SKIMS, Dr Abdul Hamid Zargar told Greater Kashmir that Kashmir has sufficient trained medical manpower. “But we do not have adequate infrastructure. We have no facilities to carry out technologically advanced tests,” Dr Zargar said adding that there is an urgent need to upgrade the infrastructure. Dr Zargar advocated the role of private sector in opening specialty hospitals in Kashmir.

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