Srinagar, Sept 21: The patients with mild or severe disability are facing huge inconvenience in government-run-hospitals across Kashmir valley due to non-existence of exclusive kiosks’ who on Wednesday appealed to Directorate of Health Service Kashmir (DHSK) to intervene into the matter and allow segregated counters for availing trouble-free health services in times of need.
Several patients who had visited Srinagar based government hospitals recently expressed disillusionment over messing up of things in government run health care institutions. They said the non-existence of exclusive counters at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura; Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital; Chest Disease (CD) hospital, Dalgate; Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial (JLNM) hospital Rainawari and other health care institutions in Kashmir valley has taken heavy toll on the lives of disabled patients who has no option left other than to wait in long queues either for availing OPD tickets, or paying fee for medical investigations.
“Recently I had a visit to SKIMS Soura. I reached there at 10:00 am and joined the queue. I got OPD ticket from the counter after giving my two hours there. This was bone-chilling for me and those were along with me. I was supposed to return to home by 04:00 but unfortunately the non-availability of exclusive counters for disabled sucked me badly and consumed my whole day. I reached back to home at 10:30 pm”, a patient having disability in right arm from north Kashmir’s Kupwara told Rising Kashmir.
“Though our health infrastructure has developed to a large extent in past few years but government should ensure services at par to every section of the society”, he added.
Another disabled patient from Srinagar outskirts told Rising Kashmir that when healthcare institutions outside J&K can provide hassle-free services to disabled persons, then why such services are not being started here?
“The hospital administration should take the matter on humanitarian grounds. The disabled persons should be given relief. The long queues can be avoided by disabled only when there will be facility in place”, he said.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad while speaking to Rising Kashmir said the administration has already started the facility at several district hospitals across Kashmir Valley. “We have ensured exclusive ramps at several hospitals at district level for disabled patients for their convenience. Also, special counters have been established there”, he said.
He added in times to come the administration will open exclusive counters for disabled at Sub-District Hospital (SDH) and Community Health Centre (CHC) levels.
He however added, the SKIMS have a separate Director and he can take a call on it.
When contacted Director SKIMS, Dr. Parvez Koul he said that it is impossible to open separate counter for physically challenged patients as their number remain always low.
“There is already a separate counter in place in SKIMS where elderly and disabled are being facilitated. We can’t open separate kiosk for disabled. Their number is very much low. We are facilitating them along with elders at a separate counter”, Director SKIMS said.
He added the SKIMS administration has taken up multiple efforts for convenience of patients. “We open counters at 08:00 am and till 10:00 am it helps us in decreasing the rush of patients. Further we have introduced receiving of payments through cards. Also, online booking is in place. These initiatives have brought major relief to visiting patients at SKIMS”, the Director SKIMS added.