Pulwama Hospital Forces Patients to Buy Anti-Rabies Vaccines From Open Market

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Pulwama—At least five people bitten by dogs were denied anti rabies vaccines at district hospital Pulwama on Monday on the pretext of the non availability of the vaccines at the hospital forcing them to buy the vaccines from the market at exorbitant rates.

A group of dog bite victims from district Pulwama told Kashmir Observer that on Monday a stray dog on prowl in Puchal area of the district bit at least 5 people, including a child.

The victims who were severely bitten and had endured many injuries as well in the process were rushed to the district hospital but were met with a rude and uncooperative attitude from the hospital authorities.

“On reaching the hospital, we were informed that we would either have to wait till the next day for the vaccine or purchase it from the market on our own because the vaccines were unavailable in the hospital,” said a victim.

“Despite knowing that most of us come from families that can hardly make ends meet, we had to arrange money for the vaccines to save the lives of our loved ones,” he said.

The vaccines cost more than 800 rupees from the market, an amount which is too high for us to spend but we couldn’t leave our kids to suffer for the want of vaccines”, they complained.

“It is ironic, that despite being a district hospital, where such vaccines should be available 24×7, the patients were turned away.  They put our lives at risk”, said another victim.

The victims realised that they had been duped when they found out that anti-rabies vaccine was available in abundance in the hospital the next day and they had been turned away only because the immunization centre had been closed early than the scheduled time and the concerned authorities had left and were informed by the authorities that they would be compensated for the same.

“See how they are playing with the lives of common people, if the vaccine was not available in the market yesterday, our family members could have died, this is the state of our health care,” said  Noor ul Islam , a family member of a victim.

Medical superintendent Pulwama Dr. Ab Rashid Parra when contacted accepted that the victims were denied the vaccine. He said, “Doctors had prescribed the vaccine to some of the dog bite victims and it was the job of Pharmacists and nursing orderly in the hospital to provide the medicine,”

They had a misconception that the vaccine is available in the hospital till 4: pm only however it was present so they told them to purchase it from the market,” he said, adding that they will return the money to the patients.

Director Health Services, Kashmir Dr. Saleem-ur Rehman also assured Kashmir Observer that he will look into the matter and ensure such lapses do not recur in the future.

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