Patients Escape From Psychiatric Diseases Hospital

SRINAGAR: At least two patients admitted in the Psychiatric Diseases Hospital here have ‘escaped’ over the past few days due to what insiders describe as pathetic conditions in the Valley’s lone mental health facility.

Gulzar Ahmad Dar of Rohpapi Anantnag (MRD number A-04517) fled from the hospital in the dead of the night recently, and the very next day, another patient, Nazir Ahmad Mir of of Vilgam, Handwara (MRD number A-06791) followed suit, sources said.

“Authorities made no attempt to trace Dar’s whereabouts nor did they approach the police,” the Srinagar-based news agency, CNS, quoted a hospital employee as having said.

Poor conditions and lack of facilities are compelling patients to flee, sources said.

A few months ago, the State Human Rights Commission had pulled the state government up for inadequate patient care and absence of basic amenities at the hospital, asking it to improve its functioning.

Insiders said that patients were not being provided with clean hospital uniforms, and their bedding was soiled and dirty.

“Patients are not asked to bathe and shave. Even their food is not proper,” sources said.

The news agency said that the hospital administration and the minister for medical education could not be reached despite several attempts. cns

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