Srinagar: The super specialty hospital, Srinagar that commenced construction nine years ago has missed several deadlines for becoming operational. The causes for the delay being change of plans, floods, staff shortage, and equipment paucity.
The Rs. 137 crore college construction which started in 2007, was supposed to have reached completion in 2012. However, incessant delays did not let it happen. In 2014 when floods hit the valley, the deadline got pushed further, with concerned authorities seeking more time to complete it, citing “repairs,” as the reason. In the early part of 2016, an announcement was made that the hospital will become partially functional within a month and “fully operational within six.”
The fact remains that the Department of Gastroenterology, is the only unit to have shifted from SMHS hospital to the Deewan Bagh Super-Specialty Hospital. The Government Medical College, officials under whose supervision the super specialty hospital is to function, informed that though staff recruitment for the college had been done in 2012, the lower rungs of staff had yet to be appointed. The recruited staff,unfortunately, has been deployed at various hospitals under the GMC- temporarily.
“Over 200 employees of super specialty hospital are working in associated hospitals of GMC. The administration is well aware of the fact that if this staff is called back to the super specialty hospital, these hospitals will run into difficulties,” a source at GMC Srinagar said.
The authorities do not wish to “ruin” the functioning of five associated hospitals to make the new hospital operational.
The GMC Srinagar, Principal, Dr Kaiser Ahmed said the deadline announced last year could not be met with due to the situation prevailing during most part of the year. “We would have shifted at least some of the planned departments last year, but could not, due to the situation last year,” he informed.
“If we shift many departments to this hospital, there would not be enough beds that each department would get,” he added.
Only six departments would be shifted to the hospital “in a phased manner,” he further added.
Currently the space in the hospital is being allocated to the departments of Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Urology, Cardio-vascular Thoracic Surgery and Neuro-surgery by the medical college authorities.
Junior-level doctors are yet to be recruited for the hospital. A fact that has already been communicated to the government, revealed Dr Kaiser. “We are hopeful that very soon we will get a sanction to recruit Assistant Surgeons or Medical Officers for the hospital and that will help us expedite opening of the planned departments there,” he added.
Expressing concern over the “inordinate delays” the doctors said, “it is depriving citizens of advanced diagnostic and treatment facilities.”
“The Super Specialty hospital has six advanced operation theatres, critical care units and diagnostic equipment. But all of this is rusting,” a senior doctor at SMHS Hospital informed.
Digital Subtraction Angiography, a one of its kind, state-of- the-art equipment is also available at the new hospital. Unfortunately, it is not being put to use.
“It is available at only two other hospitals in India but we have had it for two years now but without being used,” said the senior doctor to Greater Kashmir.
The hospital reportedly has a 10 bedded ICU, 10-dialysis units, 6-theaters and 2-emergency theaters.