Is any anybody listening?
By Reyaz Ganai
I am District Hospital Baramulla now known as Associated Hospital of Government Medical College (GMC) Baramulla. I had been serving people of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district from which later Kupwara and Bandipora were carved out as new districts. Though I functioned in old buildings in main town Baramulla that too in congested landscape but with dedication and commitment of doctors and paramedics to serve the society I tried to live up to your expectations defying all odds. I acted as life saving support to ailing, injured, critically sick patients whenever routes to Srinagar hospital got blocked due to one or other reasons.
Given the increase in patient influx, up-gradation of infrastructure and addition of more modern facilities became necessary to contain referrals and provide better healthcare; I was shifted to new complex in 2012-13 presently known as GMC Baramulla’s Associated Hospital. I was given a bridegroom’s welcome despite some people resented my migration but the time demanded the change.
When people saw me in new place with modern health facilities having vast landscape, they hived sigh of relief. My infrastructure was up to mark as District Hospital as my bed capacity got enhanced from 100 beds to 300 bed hospital. I got CT scan, Colour Doppler USG, Digital X-ray, latest lab equipments with several institutions and organizations including political representatives contributed their bid to upgrade the health facilities but shortage of doctors and paramedics remained my complaint.
With help of dynamic and dedicated administrators, I won many awards and certificates in health sector. I achieved very good status among the hospital across country and won 1st position in Kayakalp and NQAS besides human resource was enhanced.
In 2018, Government Sanctioned Medical College for Baramulla (GMC Baramulla) and in 2019 Letter of Permission (LoP) for 100 seats in MBBS course was sanctioned by Medical Council of India (MCI), I was named as Associated Hospital of GMC Baramulla.
I became son with two fathers because simultaneously a Principal GMC and Medical Superintendent Associated Hospital started looking after my development and management which frequently resulted into clashed on various occasions due to which my development and management suffered setbacks.
During deadly Covid-19 pandemic my doctors and paramedics did wonders. I became the first hospital in north Kashmir to have its own isolation facility with ventilator support in a bid to strengthen the fight against COVID-19.
After the set up of new facilities, I was referred as ‘referral centre and tertiary care’ center for patients even from districts of Kupwara, Bandipora, Sopore, Kreeri, Chandoosa, Uri and other areas who were earlier sent to Srinagar hospital.
However, unfortunately evil eye continued to glance at me, the lift installed to ferry patients frequently remained defunct owing to which patients suffer. Despite several repairs and communications to concern agency nothing materialized. I helplessly see my critical patients being ferried on trolleys or with shoulder support of their attendants.
Time passed, both the principal and medical superintendents were transferred, I was left at the mercy of Assistant Professors, Senior and Junior Resident Doctors. Later, a woman principal and a medical superintendent were deployed to look after my affairs but battle of powers and internal skirmishes continued to hunt me and my patients and performance.
With establishment of GMC, my space squeezed as my space was used for class rooms; conference halls to teach newly joined MBBS students, new offices and consultation rooms. Many of services health services were all of sudden stopped like Doplar Scan after 4 pm, KMC center was closed, many immunology lab tests are not now done here my patients are forced to get tests done in private labs, NRC is non-functional, hair transplant stopped as no OT was provided to dermatology department, after 4 PM only junior residents are available, free tests for poor patients have stopped, rodents are bigger than new born babies, human resource and staff has increased but absenteeism has become norm here.
My pathetic conditions don’t end here, inside my casualty, outdoor patient department (OPD) and indoor patient departments ((IPD) the washrooms cum toilets are either locked for repairs or in an utterly unhygienic condition. My bathrooms blocked and overflowing with faeces and dirty water as neither the administration cares nor the civic sense prevails. I see my visitors and patients running in shame to attend nature’s call. The pipes are leaking, the faucets don’t work and toilets smell as they have not been cleaned for months.
My windows and glasses of window panes have broken and the backyard has been made a dumping ground with all filth and garbage dumped there. My broken window pane offers a view of huge heaps of garbage dumped in the backyard
Ironically, I have no washroom or toilet attached to my Orthopedic Ward wherein patients admitted after undergoing surgeries face tough time as they have to go to medical or post operative gynecology wards to attend nature’s call.
Outside my Emergency entrance, whenever it rains, the premises turn a swimming pool as rain water inundates the entrance due to which the visitors curse their fate when they visit with their critical patients.
I have no canteen to serve food to my needy patients and their attendant besides pantry is still a distant dream. Though parking issue has been resolved but the contractor has disfigured the road diving by putting scrap of hospital equipments to prevent violators. I still have no MRI facility and my patients have to run from pillar to post or either go to private clinics.
It is pertinent to mention here that whenever any Government higher up or top adminstrator visits me I am being decorated and presented as bride to gimmick their eyes from my actual picture. I wish they would visit me as patient without informing anyone.They would come to know my actual being.
I seek attention of those who are at the helm of affairs besides civil society of Baramulla must come to my rescue as I am being ruined right under your nose. Is anybody listening!!