Mir Baseerat

OPD at LD Hospital crumbling under heavy patient load…

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‘Inadequate facilities in district, sub-district hospitals pushes patients to city’

Srinagar, Jul 21: Kashmir’s largest maternity hospital — Lala Ded Hospital — is crumbling under the heavy load of huge patient referrals as the services in peripheral hospitals remain unsatisfactory owing to inadequate human resource and infrastructure.

This is how the bosses managing the Lal Ded Hospital as also those working here explain the huge rush of patients at the facility.

Hafeeza, 34, a patient from Narbal Budgam, said she delivered three of her children at this hospital and “obviously I wouldn’t have come here for treatment had government made available proper maternity services at our district hospital.”

Hafeeza said the District Hospital Budgam, not only lacks infrastructure but also lacks “proper human resource” due to which most of the maternity cases are referred to Lal Ded Hospital.

“We are compelled to come here. We don’t want to risk our lives,” she said while waiting in a queue for follow-up in the hospital’s Out Patient department (OPD).

Like her, Asima, also from Budgam, said her’s is a high-risk pregnancy as she is diabetic and also suffers hypertension.

“I have to come here once or twice a week as doctors have to keep track of my blood pressure and sugar levels,” she said.

Feroza, a patient from Pulwama said she had Endometrial Cysts and had to undergo a surgery last month at Lal Ded Hospital because the procedure couldn’t be done has the District Hospital Pulwama due to non-availability of specialists as well as other infrastructure.

“The IPD block in Pulwama hospital is still incomplete. If that is made functional, there would be an improvement in patient-care. Then only people from that district will not have to come here,” she said.

Patients visiting here however have their own woes. They say that even the Lal Ded Hospital is not able to properly cope with the heavy patient rush.

“Coming here even for the routine check-up means commitment of a whole day. We have to come here early in the morning and then wait in queues for our turn – right from fetching an OPD ticket to getting a certain test done or even for seeking a doctor. And making matters worse is that the OPD closes at around 2 PM,” a group of women waiting in the OPD told this reporter.

An official at the overburdened hospital, wishing not to be quoted, said 130-150 patients are admitted in the hospital each day.

“We receive huge referrals. Sometimes it is difficult to accommodate them. Even it rises to 190 admissions per day,” said the official.

Hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Shabir Siddiqui, said the OPD is bearing huge rush as 800-1000 patients on daily basis.

“We are overburdened. The OPD has 15 clinics and these examine different patients with different ailments,” he said.

The clinics include general OPD ward, high-risk pregnancy ward, antenatal ward, infertility ward. “There is no alternative to LD hospital, thus we have to bear with this rush,” Dr. Siddiqui said.

He said once the Maternity Hospital at Bemina and Maternity Block at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura are made functional, it will lower the burden on Lal Ded Hospital.

Dr. Siddiqui also informed that on an average 70-80 major surgeries and 10-15 minor surgeries are conducted each day at the hospital.


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