Crumbling healthcare system in Jammu

Anuj Kumar Verma
Hi viewers, this is Anuj Verma here again. Today, I write mainly about health care and COVID19 mitigation in GMC Jammu & other peripheral hospitals; few other issues being faced by common masses.
Our Union Territory, today, is passing through tough times; A number of problems being faced by its people, the foremost being public panic caused due to steep hike in number of COVID-19 positive patients; Overloaded GMC Jammu stung with mismanagement and chaos bug, as is being reported by a number of reporters and news channels. Number of deaths due to COVID-19 pandemic has also increased drastically during last few days. The GMC Jammu is facing shortage of oxygen gas what to talk about availability of liquified oxygen for patients who are on ventilators and whose lungs are badly affected.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has been kind enough to send more than 150 ventilators exclusively for GMC Jammu out of PM Care fund, but, unfortunately a bad management system at GMC Jammu has failed to make more than 100 ventilators functional. Has this any relation to the private ventilators facilities available within 1-4 kilometres of GMC Jammu. Doubts are being raised. NOVEL CORONA II patients are dying and the administration of GMC Jammu is busy doing politicking; Even serious patients are not being attended properly on one or the other pretext. Categorisation of patients as per their critical condition is urgently required and one para medical staff member should be exclusively deployed for each such critical patient. All heavy and costly machineries seldom function fully. Telemedicine section is also reportedly not functional what to talk about unnecessary delay in starting bio-marking facility at GMC Jammu. Reportedly, one or more wards/ OTs are shut due to one or the other reasons. Garbage especially medical wastes including facemasks, PPE kits were found littering here and there in the GMC complex. Doesn’t the GMC Jammu has incinerators? If yes, why this facility is not functional. Till few days back, the sewage system in few areas of the GMC was in a very bad shape. I hope it stands repaired and there is proper hygine and sanitisation done in all sections of GMC Jammu. Different wings going in different directions instead of making an integrated and well coordinated efforts to ameliorate sufferings of symptomatic COVID-19 positive patients with heavy virus load.
Rapid Anti Gen Tests are increased in a drastic manner since last more than twenty days but the GMC Jammu and health authorities remained in deep slumber; Didn’t bother enough to make available atleast satisfactory COVID-19 mitigation facilities to pace up with number of COVID-19 positive patients which would have automatically increased considerably due to heavy RAT testing. Where do we stand?; That too when the world witnessed establishment of big COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in less than 30 days of time not only in developed countries but also within our country.
The higher authorities need to adopt a policy of Zero Tolerance in failure to provide a good health care and COVID-19 mitigation system at GMC Jammu. Those found negligent, insincere and careless should be shunted out despite of their affiliation or alignment with any powerful individual, group, lobby or political big wig. Each and every death should be audited by a board of doctors with the report made public on its website. Sufficient number of Psychologists should be appointed and their services made available for patients, doctors, paramedical staff and attendants of the patients. This is a fact, today, that few peripheral hospitals in Jammu are performing better than the GMC Jammu.
Private Hospitals like Narayana Kakryal and ASCOMS are not affordable for middle class or lower middle class people. Authorities need to wake up to reign in private hospitals especially. They charge exorbitantly from patients, admitted for medical treatment! Atleast, SMVDSB Hospital Kakryal Katra should give 50 percent cut in bills to residents of Jammu province. This hospital was built up mostly out of funds generated through alms and donations offered by pilgrims paying obscience at holy cave of Shree Mata Vaishno Devi Katra! This is learnt from various sources that Shree Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Hospital Kakryal (being run by Narayana Group) had been denying admission to common masses who were COVID-19 positive. COVID-19 isolation wards of this super speciality hospital were, reportedly, spared only for VIP patients.
Where shall middle class or lower middle class citizens go, in case of medical emergencies?
Admn in all hospitals of Jammu city needs to be revamped fully to make system more efficient and accountable.
This is really unfortunate that despite of so much Government spending on Health and Medical Education Department, Social Welfare Department, DRDA etc etc etc, we have not an effective system catering to the people, especially poor people. These departments may be merged into one single department i.e., Social Security Department and all poor people should be catered for health issues, old aged, widows, handicapped pensions, free medicines through this single department. And, the Government health infrastructure may be fully utilised; any inefficient persons whether in hospital administration or doctors or civil administration should be immediately replaced; No favouritism on the basis of relationships, religion or affiliations to certain party leaders or groups.
Then, there are other problems like a devastated economy, increasing prices of eatables like fruits and vegetables, unemployment, isolation, a stuck up life, no outings, no picnics, no schools and the most dangerous one is BIG FEAR to get affected with COVID 19 virus.
God Save us, our families, friends and other nears and dears.
Friends, don’t worry! This won’t last long. We Indians will once again rise up; our economy shall bounce back.
Life shall be normal shortly, same exciting one, full of fun and pleasure. People will smile and laugh carelessly.
But, presently, we all need to wear masks and face protection shields, wash hands regularly with water and soap, use alcohol based sanitizer while outside and maintain social distancing i.e. a minimum distance of 6 ft. from other people.