Anantnag, Feb 10: Overrun with patients, the only Maternity and Child Hospital (MCCH) in south Kashmir's Anantnag district is facing space constraints, putting the patients, attendants, and medical staff in a tight spot.
Functioning out of a rundown building in the busy Shrairbagh locality, the rush of patients has spurred the staff to position the beds even in dingy corridors.
“You will find hundreds of patients streaming in and out of the hospital at any time of the day,” said a doctor. With merely a few dozen beds, the facility caters to at least 40,000 patients each month.
Apart from south Kashmir, the patients from the Jammu division’s Ramban, Kishtwar, and Doda areas also show up at the hospital for treatment regularly.
Another doctor at the facility said that besides patients and their attendants, the medical staff too faces a lot of problems due to the space crunch.
The hospital houses two labour wards, four surgical wards, and an operational theatre.
A senior administrative official told Greater Kashmir over the phone that “an increase in patient numbers is a regular occurrence”.
He said that it not only compromised the privacy of the patients but the patient influx sometimes contributed to referrals.
Bashir Ahmad of Anantnag said that as the hospital was located in the middle of town, the patient sometimes has to bear the brunt of long traffic snarls.
“We don’t understand why the authorities are reluctant to relocate the hospital,” Ahmad said.
The government had ordered the shifting of the hospital to the Rehmat-e-Alam Hospital building on K P Road in 2017 after the building was declared unsafe.
However, even after a hiatus of six years, the relocation did not take place.
Although the R&B Department took over the building from Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation, the Design Inspection and Quality Control Department (DIQC) found that the building required strengthening.
“The strengthening measures were estimated to be carried out at Rs 6 crore and crores of rupees have been released,” an official said. “We hope the strengthening will take place soon.”