The Bold Voice of J&K

GMC Jammu crumbling; needs intensive care

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AARYAN SHARMA
JAMMU: Last week when Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made a surprise visit to the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu to take stock of patient care facilities, she expressed her unhappiness over general sanitation facilities and other infrastructure support available to the patients across different departments.
Due to paucity of time and breakdown of lift services, she could not visit different departments to thoroughly understand the state of affairs in the Medical College which is catering to patients converging here from all 10 districts of Jammu division.
The Chief Minister had made a surprise visit after receiving several complaints highlighting the plight of patients and their caretakers.
Under the prevailing circumstances and due to constant rise in total number of footfall of patients from at least 10 districts of Jammu division, the GMC itself needs complete overhauling or intensive care to breathe easy and cater to the rush of patients without crumbling.
It is no secret that in the absence of proper maintenance and capacity building, the hospital infrastructure is crumbling. Half hearted approach of the hospital authorities and inadequate support from the State government agencies is another factor, which has created this piquant situation.

Of all the crucial departments, the radio therapy and oncology section, located on the ground floor of the GMC Hospital complex, is in need of urgent upgradation but the same has been delayed by some of the vested interests. Even the tall claims made by the government agencies to start construction of Regional Cancer Centre for which the Centre had approved Rs 120 crore continue to haunt the senior hospital authorities as no blue print is ready on how to spend the money for creating state-of-the-art patient care facilities.

In comparison to Kashmir division, where cancer is emerging as one of the biggest health issues due to mushrooming number of patients with every passing month, the situation here is worst and on verge of break down.
Patients visiting SKIMS and SMHS Hospital in Srinagar receive better patient care facilities from a panel of doctors but in Jammu the majority of patients are subjected to archaic treatment facilities and the faculty members are overburdened due to rush of patients.
PET Scan facility has been made operational in SKIMS and very soon the SMHS Hospital too would get better cancer treatment facilities but the Radiology Department here in GMC ,Jammu is treating patients with obsolete Coblat 60 machine. The much needed upgradation of the cancer treatment facilities have not seen the light of the day due to prevalent red tapism and poor administration of the senior hospital functionaries who failed to utilise the special grant of approximately Rs 14 crores, released by the then Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Other equipment installed in the department in Jammu is on verge of breakdown due to poor maintenance and absence of experts.

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