Every life matters, life of a non-covid patient is equally important as of a covid patient
Since the start of Covid19 in China last year, the world has been on a big pause. Almost whole of the world is now affected by the disease and the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak as, ‘public health emergency of international concern’ and global pandemic. A large number of lives have been lost to this viral disease. Although, some countries have managed to flatten the curve, in many other countries (including India), the number of fatalities goes on increasing each day. Search for vaccine and novel drugs is underway, but currently there is no licensed medication for the treatment of this disease, nevertheless, some already available drugs have been found to curb the effects of covid19 very effectively, but they are yet to be approved. Best remedy, right now, for containing the viral infection is to take preventive measures- which include; wearing masks, using sanitizers, washing hands frequently and maintaining a safe distance.
With this virus entering India and our Kashmir, hospitals here have seen a huge rush of Covid19 patients. Some of the major healthcare institutes in Kashmir have been converted into Covid19 facilities. The primary focus of these hospitals is now to deal with Covid19; they have however not been allowed to deny admission to a non Covid patient. Unfortunately in our Kashmir, from last few weeks, various ill treatments with non Covid patients have been reported at the hands of doctors and hospital authorities. Last week, a woman from Awoora village of District Kupwara was rushed to sub-district hospital after she had devoured some poisonous substance. The hospital has been designated as COVID19 facility. The authorities refused to admit the patient. In order to save her life, the family members rushed the patient to another hospital, only to return disappointed. As per family members, ‘they lost almost one hour in shifting the patient from one hospital to another and this delay proved fatal for her life and the patient died in her mother’s lap.’ Had she been admitted and provided help on time at district hospital, her life might have been saved. In another incident, a woman from Nowshehra area of Baramulla was shifted to GMC Baramulla after she complained of chest pain and dizziness. On reaching there, the doctors asked for her Covid19 negative certificate. After the attendants informed the doctors that she had not been tested for Covid19, the doctors refused to admit her. Instead she was rushed to Srinagar Hospital and the patient died on her way to Srinagar. In yet another recent incident at Sub-district hospital Sumbal of Bandipora, a lady gave birth in an open hospital compound after she was denied admission by the authorities. These expecting mothers have been the worst sufferers.
As many hospitals have been turned to COVID19 facilities, the plight of non Covid patients have multiplied. Their woes and cries go unheard. No matter how serious their ailment is, they are refused admission at some health care centers. It has become a trend now to hear about such patients being denied admission at various places. They suffer silently, including the critical patients- that may have suffered a heart attack. In a recent report by a leading newspaper, it reads that ‘hundreds of people from far-flung areas continue to suffer as the doctors denies the admission of non Covid patients.’ Nobody can reject the fact that our doctors and other frontline workers have been doing a commendable job by putting their lives at risk and working round the clock to treat the patients. But, during these critical times let’s also not forget our non Covid patients. At times, it is a non-covid patient who is in dire need of a doctor than a covid19 one. Every life matters, life of a non-covid patient is equally important as of a covid patient. I wonder, if we don’t look after non-covid patients, who is then going to treat them? If they are denied admission at their own Sub-district hospitals, how could they manage to visit tertiary healthcare facilities? As mentioned earlier, pregnant ladies are the most suffered ones. Imagine our sister or a mother, who is going through child birth pain and being denied permission at a hospital. How would she feel and bear such a thing at her most critical stage? Do we not have a bit of sympathy to feel their pain at these toughest of times?