Lack Of Facilities In Sgr Hospitals Leaves Cancer Patients In Lurch

SRINAGAR —The Srinagar city has witnessed an alarming increase in the cancer cases among the people here, but the hospitals especially the tertiary care facility, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sci­ences (SKIMS), lack the staff and the equipments to treat the pa­tients. Apart from the complaints of lack of radiotherapy facility from time of time at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital (SMHS), the au­thorities of the SKIMS have failed to adequately equip the State Can­cer Institute (SCI) with the staff for treatment of cancer patients. The state has witnessed an alarming trend with each day two new cases of cancer being diagnosed in Kash­mir, from whom the majority are the cases are reported in Srinagar. Due to the lack of facilities many cancer patients opt for “compara­tively high cost” private treatment outside the state. The lack of facili­ties was even as the disease has af­fected the people of all age groups including the children here.

“On a average, two new cases of cancer are reported every day in Kashmir,” said an oncologist. Ear­lier at the SKIMS non-functional PET scanner had put the patients through an ordeal.

Experts have said that given the increase in the number of cancer cases, there was a need for setting up of a separate Cancer Hospital in Kashmir. The Indian Council Medi­cal Research (ICMR) has noted that the “burden of cancer in Kashmir has risen to 20 thousand cases per year.”

“Depriving poor patients of ev­idence-based established health protocols and interventions within the prescribed time period is gross human rights violation,” the DAK said recently over the lack cancer treatment facilities here. The SCI at SKIMS which was started in 2012 is still deficient in staff.

The facility which could have somehow catered to the rush of pa­tients, for which otherwise a sepa­rate hospital is required, has at pres­ent only 70 beds for cancer patients. The medical oncology department of SKIMS has only “two doctors at present.” At the SKIMS day care ward there are “only one or two nurses to administer chemotherapy and moni­tor over 20 patients.”

The SKIMS also lacks in technical staff to run the advanced cancer di­agnosis and treatment equipments. Last year nearly 5000 new cancer cases were registered at SKIMS, which was 200 more than those who were catered to in the year 2017.

The cancer “ treatment” facili­ties have only remained inadequate in the tertiary care hospitals in Sri­nagar, said an official.

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