Srinagar– The only children’s hospital in Kashmir Valley is without much needed infrastructure—forcing doctors to refer the patients to other private hospitals and clinics.
According to reports, 500 bedded Children Hospital here in Bemina area of the city is without Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) as the authorities failed to procure the same even when the hospital was made operational six months ago.
The private clinics charge around Rs 2500-5000 for MRIs while as CT scan goes upto Rs 2000 to 3000. The same can be done in government hospitals at minimal rates.
A group of attendants told Kashmir Observer that the scan at private diagnostic centres is not affordable for many poor patients and the authorities should have made all the arrangements before making the hospital operational.
Notably, the government shifted the paediatric services of G B Pant Hospital to the Children’s Hospital Bemina in September 2022 after missing several deadlines.
“My baby was suggested for an MRI scan by a doctor today. He asked us to get it done at either SMHS hospital or any private clinic. I am a labourer; I can’t afford the cost of a private diagnostic lab,” said Rashid Ahmad, an attendant from South Kashmir’s Anantnag.
Ahmad further said that he also went to the SMHS hospital with the prescription, but was told to come after a month.
“Where will we go? My baby will die by then,” he added.
Sources told Kashmir Observer that the hospital doesn’t have enough ventilators too. Amid the ongoing flu, the CT scans have assumed much significance as the imaging of the chest gives a clear picture of lungs to doctors for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The hospital receives patients from all over Kashmir. The patients said that the people come here from far-off villages with the hope of receiving better and affordable treatment.
“This is very unfortunate, such facilities should have been here,” said Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Kupwara.
The attendants have requested the concerned authorities to make arrangements for the much needed facility at the hospital.
Talking to Kashmir Observer, Medical Superintendent, Children Hospital Dr Nazir Chaudhary agreed that the hospital sans CT scan and MRI facilities.
“The CT scan will be shifted from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) hospital, at Khonmoh while we are in process of procuring the MRI from a corporation. It will be done soon” he added.
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