Srinagar, Feb 9: It has been over a year since the administration ordered the shifting of the Chest Diseases (CD) Hospital from its current location at Dalgate to the vacant GB Panth Hospital, but no action has been taken.
In October 2022, the Government Medical College (GMC) Principal issued a directive to relocate the CD Hospital to utilise the vacant GB Panth Hospital and provide better facilities to the patients.
However, 16 months later, the 250-bed GB Panth Hospital continues to remain unutilised while the overloaded CD Hospital struggles with a dearth of infrastructure and limited capacity.
The delay in implementing the administration's directive raises questions about its commitment to improving healthcare services in Kashmir.
Patients from various parts of Kashmir continue to endure hardship as the largest chest disease hospital grapples with inadequate facilities, raising concerns over the prolonged delay in its relocation to GB Pant Hospital, Sonwar.
The existing CD Hospital faces myriad challenges, especially in its Outpatient Department (OPD) and emergency sections, with patients citing space constraints and limited resources hampering their access to quality care.
Expressing frustration over the administration’s failure to act on its directive, a senior doctor at the CD Hospital questioned the lack of feasibility assessment before issuing the relocation order.
The directive, issued in October 2022, came after the Children’s Hospital was moved to a new facility in Bemina, leaving the GB Pant Hospital vacant.
“Consequent upon the shifting of GB Pant Hospital to the newly-constructed 500-bedded Children Hospital Bemina, the sanction is hereby accorded to the shifting of the entire CD Hospital to GB Pant Hospital, Sonwar, Srinagar after assessing the functionality of all vital aspects by Medical Superintendent, CD Hospital, and HOD Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine, CD Hospital, Srinagar,” an order issued in October 2022 read.
However, despite the order, only partial services, including the OPD, X-ray unit, CT Scan, and emergency services, have been shifted to the new location, highlighting its inadequacy as a replacement for a full-fledged CD Hospital.
Medical professionals have raised alarm about the critical shortcomings at the GB Pant location, particularly its limited oxygen capacity.
While the existing hospital provides high-flow oxygen at every bed, GB Pant can only generate 500 litres, significantly lower than the required 3500 litres.
The doctors insist that before any further relocations are considered, the GB Pant Hospital requires substantial infrastructure upgrades to ensure seamless patient care.
But many doctors argue why the decision was taken then if the GB Hospital was not suitable to house chest disease patients.
Efforts to reach the Medical Superintendent of CD Hospital, Dr Salim Tak for comments on the matter remained unsuccessful.
Dr Tak himself had previously informed Greater Kashmir that the relocation would be done within two weeks, a commitment that has now stretched to 16 months and counting, leaving patients and medical professionals frustrated with the ongoing delay.