Eye Bank still a distant dream, GMC fails to fix deadline

Amit Katoch
Jammu, July 7: Strange it may sound but it’s a harsh reality that even after spending  in lakhs and waiting for years  the ‘Eye Bank’ in  Jammu is still a distant dream as the Medical Education and Health Authorities have failed to tell the time of its completion and functioning .
Athough the Government has already opened the Eye Bank in GMC,Kashmir but how much more time the authorities will take to open the same in GMC, Jammu, cannot be mentioned exactly.
Government  Medical College  authorities are blaming Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd for causing delay in the procurement of equipments as JK Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd has the mandate for procurement and supply of quality drugs, medicines, surgical items and sutures to various Government health institutions in the State.

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”Most of the work for the establishment of the Eye Bank including infrastructure and appointment of   staff have already been done by us and as soon as we receive the required equipments from Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation we will start the functioning of Eye Bank here at GMC,”said  Dr Sunanda Raina ,Principal GMC, Jammu while interacting with Excelsior.
The process of establishment of Eye Bank in Jammu  has been  delayed due to lackadaisical approach of the concerned department the work on which is  going on at snail’s pace from  past several years. This has forced the huge blind population  to move  outside  the J&K State for treatment at huge expenses and times.
The funds have already been transferred to Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation to procure the medical equipments and a doctors team have also been appointed to look into the  procurement  process of equipments.
“Today  we had meeting with the representatives of Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation in which the members mentioned about some kind of technical problems dealing with procurement of equipments for Eye Bank. But the members failed to  give  any deadline for the procurement  of  equipments.
So we cannot do any thing in it as we are not authorized to buy any equipment on our own. The process of buying equipments have been assigned to JK Medical Supplies Corporation. However, we have done six corneal  transplants here for which the eyes were brought from Hyderabad at a cost of Rs 6000 each eye but cannot repeat it again and again due to financial constrains,”said Dr Sunanda Raina.
There are thousands of patients in Jammu who visit the neighbouring States every year for corneal transplant at huge expenses so here one fails to understand that if money is not a constrain then the Government should take serious note of delaying tactics of the concerned department. Further delay will be a cruel joke with people who want to see the light of the day that nature has denied to them.