CM to take up Panth hospital issue with PM

Speaker orders EC probe
Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, May 18: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that he will take up issue of the GP Panth hospital with Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, as Cantonment Board is not allowing the extension of the Children’s hospital.
While addressing a function on the occasion of inauguration of Joggers park at Rajbagh this evening, Omar assured that there will be marked improvement in the hospital in the next 10 days. He said that there is no dearth of the space in the GB Panth hospital but the Cantonment Board is not allowing the Health Department to operationalize 70 beds that are lying idle.
“I will knock the door of the Prime Minister for the operationalizing of the idle space of the hospital”, said Omar adding that government is constructing a 300 bedded super-specialty hospital adjacent to the SMHS hospital on 16 kanals of land.
In the morning, the Chief Minister made a surprise visit to the hospital and inspected its various units.
He said the Government has already taken decisions regarding administration, staffing, equipment, sanitation, hygiene and other aspects relating to the improvement in the functioning of Children’s Hospital making its monitoring a regular feature by the Director SKIMS.
There is scope for improvement in the functioning and maintenance of hospital, he said, adding that the measures initiated by the Government and decisions taken in this regard would show visible improvement in the functioning of the hospital within a week’s time.
Omar underlined the importance of public support in maintaining the hygiene and sanitation of the hospital besides improving the discipline.
While Government would take all measures in upgrading the functioning of the hospital and improving its maintenance, the attendants with the patients and those visiting the hospital should cooperate fully in this task, he said, adding that necessary checks have been put in place for the monitoring the hospital.
Minister for Medical Education, R S Chib, also visited the hospital today and chaired a meeting of the doctors and officers of Medical Education Department at G B Pant Children Hospital in which Brigadier Roy and Commandant 192 Base Hospital Srinagar Cantonment were also present.
The meeting discussed various aspects of improvement and upgradation of the Hospital and making its service befitting and up to the mark.
Meanwhile to augment infrastructure and improve functioning of the health institutions, Secretary Health and Medical Education, M K Diwedi, today said that sanction has been granted to the engagement of 265 staff comprising 150 Junior Grade Nurses, 15 ANMs, 25 Junior Pharmacists, 10 X-ray-Dark Room Assistants, 15 Theatre Assistants and 50 Anaesthesia Assistants on academic arrangement basis to make up the deficiencies of the para-medical staff and to further improve the patient care in the Government Medical Colleges and its Associated Hospitals with special focus on G. B. Pant Children Hospital, Srinagar.
In another development, the Speaker Legislative Assembly today ordered probe by the Estimates Committee into GB Panth Hospital deaths.
Speaker, Mohammad Akbar Lone, ordered the probe by the Estimates Committee that is headed by MLA Handwara and National Conference Vice president Choudery Mohammad Ramzan. He has been asked to file a detailed report in a week’s time.
The Speaker ordered the probe after two People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLAs, Mansoor Ahmad and Syed Basharat Bukhari made a representation to him asking for setting up of a committee that will look into the hospital deaths.
The two legislators in their representation told the Speaker that it is a grave situation and expressed doubts over the probe that is being conducted by the Director SKIMS, Srinagar Dr Shoukat Ali Zargar.
The Estimates Committee comprised 13 members and the two petitioners, Mansoor Ahmad and Syed Basharat Bukhari, have been made special invitees for the conduct of the probe. The committee will look into the circumstances that led to high mortality rate and fix responsibilities.
It may be mentioned here that Government had ordered probe into GB Panth Hospital deaths to be conducted by the Director SKIMS, Srinagar Dr Shoukat Ali Zargar. He has submitted his interim report after which the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr Javed Chowdery was attached.

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