As MCH Bemina misses deadline, officials say it would be ready by May 2016

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The work on 500 bedded Mother Child Hospital (MCH) in Bemina area of Srinagar city outskirts is going in full swing with officials hoping that the first phase of 200 beds would be completed by 2016, and would reduce the pressure on Lal Ded and GB Panth hospitals.
Initially, the hospital was 200 bedded maternity and the work was started during former National Conference led coalition in 2013. However, the incumbent coalition Government Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed this year on October 17 gave it an extension and laid the foundation stone for 500 bedded Mother Child Hospital (MCH).
The work on the hospital is being executed by Roads and Buildings (R&B) Department. An official of the Department said that so far there have been no hurdles in the construction of the hospital and the work is going on smoothly. Except pediatric care section, the hospital is coming at a civil cost of Rs 46.63 crore, said the official. “For pediatric care, the Government has earmarked Rs 25 crore,” he said.
“There is no problem and the work is underway. By and large, there has also been no problem of funds and only time the work was hampered was during floods. Rest, everything is alright,” he said. The hospital has 45 kanals of the land and is situated stone’s throw distance from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Bemina, also called JVC Hospital, along Srinagar By-pass stretch which connects South Kashmir with North Kashmir.
In 2013, the then Government had fixed 2015 as deadline for the completion of 200-bedded maternity care Hospital which, however, was missed by the R&B Department. “The reason for missing 2015 deadline is flood. We would have achieved the target but the flood affected our work. Later, we were told that we have to construct two more floors,” the R&B officials said when asked why they missed deadline.
The officials at LD Hospital, Valley’s lone maternity hospital and GB Panth, which is lone pediatric hospital, said once the MCH Hospital would be functional it would ease the burden on these two hospitals. “We are receiving patients from North, South and Central Kashmir districts and are overburdened. However, if the MCH Bemina becomes operational, we will have a sigh of relief. At least the patients from North Kashmir districts as well as Budgam would prefer the new hospital as it is more convenient for them in terms of distance,” said an official at LD Hospital.
The 700-bedded Lal Ded Hospital is already grappling with workload and staff shortage, thus affecting healthcare. The overload could be gauged by the fact that there were around 23,000 deliveries in the hospital in 2014 as per a report.
The Lal Ded and GB Panth hospitals are nearly three kilometers away from each other and as a result the patients as well as their attendants face lot of inconvenience. “However this hospital (MCH Bemina) would be convenient for both mother and baby as well as their attendants,” said another official.
As per officials, the three floors would accommodate 200 maternity beds while fourth and fifth floors are for pediatric care with 300 beds. The officials of R&B said the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has fixed April-May 2016 as deadline for the completion of first three floors comprising of 200 beds. “We still have nearly six months and we are sure we would complete the target,” they said, adding that the deadline for pediatric section has been fixed as 2017.

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