Emergency declared in Valley hospitals

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SRINAGAR: A medical emergency has been declared in the Valley as hospitals here are unable to cope with the flow of injured and provide requisite timely-treatment as most of the patients are arriving with grievous bullet wounds.

According to official sources over 400 wounded were being treated at various hospitals in the city, including at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, SMHS Hospital and the Bones and Joints Hospital, Barzulla and the number was rising.

Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Dr Qasiar Ahmad declared a medical emergency at the GMC associated hospitals Sunday while sources at SKIMS Soura said routine admissions, theatres and leave of the doctors have been cancelled.

At SMHS Hospital, it was a gloomy scene when a wrecked ambulance reached there with wounded being ferried from south Kashmir. While all the windowpanes stood smashed, some glass pieces had pierced into the bodies of the patients only to further their pain and injuries. The driver was equally wounded.

Patients and their attendants blamed Govt forces of attacking the ambulance enroute. Several such videos showing security personnel vandalizing ambulances are already doing rounds on social media.

As the patients were brought down, inside the hospital, the scene was more pathetic. Over hundred patients were lying in the hospital, most of them unattended as doctors struggled to provide treatment.

A young medico treating patients described the situation in the hospital as “mayhem”. “It is mayhem here. We are getting all types of wounded, including women and children, from different parts of Kashmir, especially south Kashmir, with pellet injuries and firearm wounds… I saw a young boy who succumbed to injuries and no one from his family was with him,” the doctor said with moist eyes.

Medicos said the situation was worst than 2010 as they would never get so many wounded in a day that year when 120 had died in month long street protests. “Of the 200 wounded lying in the SMHS hospital, many suffer from fatal eye injuries and may lost eyesight. The situation is grim,” he added.

Doctors said there was equally a problem in serving food to the patients and their attendants. “The hospital doesn’t have so much of stocks while locals are not being allowed to bring support due to stringent curfew, it’s a situation of starvation,” said a doctor.

Situation was equally depressing at SKIMS Soura where patients struggled to get due treatment. “See basically we are overburdened. Though we have cancelled leave of all medicos, we are unable to overcome the crises as the number of patients is mounting with every hour,” said a senior medico at SKIMS as another ambulance rushed in with wounded, this time from Batmalu.

Later in the evening a patient, his attendants, a medico and a couple of  Paramedics  travelling back from Bone & Joint Surgery Hospital in the ambulance No: JK16 -8141   of   Distt  Hospital   Ganderbal  had a providential escape as the CRPF personnel stationed near  Aali Masjid pelted a barrage of stones on the ambulance as it neared the spot.

The driver on sighting the irate CRPF personnel approaching menacingly with stones in their hands towards his vehicle, drove the vehicle in a zig-zag manner to avoid causality. However the vehicle bore the brunt of a hail of rocks hurled by CRPF with all its glasspanes broken. Had not the passengers ducked and taken cover under the seats all of them would have been wounded, said the female medico travelling in the ambulance at around 8 pm through Dr Ali Jan Road.

The terrified hospital staff have urged the police authorities to ensure their safety.

Meanwhile an official handout said Director Health services Kashmir Dr Saleem Ur Rehman visited South Kashmir last night. “He visited Sub district Hospital Bijbehara, District Hospital Anantnag and Qazigund

Hospital at around 1.30 AM and met the injured persons admitted in these hospitals. He assessed the health care services being provided to the injured persons and directed the hospital administrators of these hospitals to provide free medicines to the injured and do whatever possible they can do for the them,” the handout said.

Dr Rehman appealed “for not harming ambulances which are ferrying patients to hospitals so that precious lives are saved in time.”

“Director Health Services, Kashmir have already given directions to hospital administrators to remain stationed in their respective hospitals  and directed health staff to report to their duties immediately who till now haven’t joined duties. Those who aren’t able to reach their place of postings should join the health institutes nearer to them. They can contact the help line numbers circulated already for transport facilities,” the handout added.

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