Jammu without ‘full fledged’ maternity hospital, Kashmir enjoys 9

Pardeep Singh Bali
As against nine full fledged maternity hospitals in Kashmir Valley, Jammu is still grappling with proper infrastructure for child birth and their treatment.
According to official website of the Jammu and Kashmir health department, there is no full fledged maternity hospital in Jammu, whereas Kashmir enjoys nine.
In Jammu, on the name of maternity hospital, Sri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) hospital is taking care of the child births, but it also lacks proper infrastructure.
“The only kind of maternity hospital in Jammu-SMGS has no surgery ward and the neonates are being shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) in case of emergency,” said senior doctor wishing anonymity.
Moreover, doctor said that the premier maternity and Paediatric Hospital in Jammu city has been running without Paediatric Surgery department, since its establishment.
“Since the inception of this department, the much needed Paediatric surgery department is missing, in the absence of which the Neonates are being shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital, which take almost 15-20 minutes journey, during which anything can happen,” said doctor, adding that everyday nearly 1,200 patients visit OPD of the hospital.
“Contrary to tall claims of state government, large number of patients fails to get required surgeries done due to unavailability of pediatric surgery department in the SMGS hospital,” doctor maintained and disclosed that, absence of same department has been causing much worry to the patients, who require the surgery.
Either attendant has to shift their neonates to General Surgery ward of GMC hospital Jammu or to move private hospitals, while it is the poor who suffer the most due to the government’s inaction in this regard, doctor said.
“GMC hospital has two pediatric surgeons, who have been working in general surgery ward but they are unable to perform surgery in the SMGS hospital owing to absence of required infrastructure,” a senior doctor said, adding that the authority concerned had time and again informed the higher authorities about the issue but nothing has been done so far. The doctor claimed that as they couldn’t do anything in this regard as decision has to be taken by the government to open pediatric surgery department.
As per official website of the health department, out of nine maternity hospitals in Kashmir, six are concentrated in Ganderbal district alone, while three are established in Srinagar, including GP Pant and Lalded.
When tried to contact Health Minister-Bali Bhagat, Director health-BS Pathania and Superintendent SMGS hospital-Dr Dara Singh, were not available for comments.

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