Kashmir hospitals unprepared for disasters: DAK

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Oct 27: A day after major earthquake rattled Valley, a medicos’ body today said that the hospitals are unprepared to tackle the disasters like that of quake.
While expressing grief and concern over the loss of life in Monday’s quake, the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) president, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said that the hospitals in Kashmir are not prepared to deal with calamities. “Hospitals play an important role in reducing morbidities and mortalities during earthquake and loss of life and disability are compounded by lack of medical preparedness,” he said.
He said that Kashmir because of its unique geo-climatic conditions is one of the most hazard-prone for earthquakes and hospitals provide immediate medical succor in the form of emergency medical care. “Valley hospitals lack treatment and surgical capacity to deal with mass casualties during earthquake. They lack resources like infrastructure, staff, space and supplies to manage sudden influx of an unexpected patient load during disaster,” the DAK president said.
He said that there are no designated disaster wards, no disaster stores and no concept of reserved staff in case of large scale disasters. “Hospital disaster management committees which are essential for making a disaster plan for the hospital are visibly absent,” Hassan said, adding: “There is neither disaster management training to hospital staff nor any periodic drill to test the response capabilities to disasters.”
As of now disaster preparedness in healthcare of Kashmir is an orphan entity, he said. “Hospitals in Kashmir as per experts cannot withstand high magnitude earthquake due to complete non compliance of structural elements of lifeline structures to building codes and other safety norms,” the DAK president said, and added that the people of valley will be without crucial life saving assets during disasters when they are needed most if the existing structures are not retrofitted to withstand tremors.

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