Make Eye Bank operational

On umpteen occasions we drew the attention of the Government towards the inordinate delay caused entirely wilfully in setting up of an Eye Bank at Government Medical College, Jammu but nothing substantial was done or was visible towards that end. The matter was taken up to courts even as in the other part of the State, viz Kashmir, it was not only opened but made operational quite well in time. Somehow, the concerned authorities had the requisite Eye Bank inaugurated two months back say on July 22 which raised hopes in the people to get the required facilities right at Jammu instead of at places outside Jammu involving money, time and avoidable botheration. However, it has not so far been made operational.
This state -of-the-art Eye Bank is supposed to enable the hospital to provide life changing surgeries with an aim to restore the precious sight of many needy and raising their new hopes and aspirations. A significant step towards reducing corneal blindness as the Bank was equipped with all necessary infrastructure including equipments for corneal transplant procedures, though quite late, had raised hopes in the people affected with the said disease. Processing and distribution of corneas to the needy including providing full scope of services including counselling for families in respect of cornea – eye collection are other facilities associated with the Eye Bank.
Were all formalities completed in respect of the said Bank? Was inauguration indicative of the full readiness of the Eye Bank for rendering necessary services? Was the mandatory inspection by the experts from some other suitable health institution of the Eye Bank done as a prelude to obtaining registration for the said Bank ? Was a well concerted coordination between the GMC, Jammu and the other State departments and authorities in respect of setting up of the Eye Bank established? Were actual causes of unexpected but unexplained delays as compared to its ‘counterpart’ in Srinagar ascertained? These are certain vital questions as it has beyond doubt dawned that inauguration was just to hoodwink the gullible public, in particular those having had lot of hopes associated with this Bank and was nothing beyond an eye wash.
This is a crude joke and is increasingly disliked particularly after knowing the glaring fact of the concerned authorities of the GMC Jammu having failed to obtain the mandatory registration to run the said Eye Bank. How could, in the absence of securing the requisite registration from the concerned authorities, cornea transplant surgeries and allied medical activities be conducted in this Eye Bank? It is astonishing to see the levels of complete recklessness in not availing of the opportunity to turn conditional registration granted to it earlier converted into permanent one. Obviously, certain important formalities required to be completed were not fulfilled resulting in the conditional registration even being withdrawn.
The blame game, as usual had earlier been making rounds as the hospital authorities were holding JK Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) responsible for delays caused in establishing of the Eye Bank. None of the required equipments could be procured in time nor the drugs required for pre and post cornea operations.. The paradox is that now the JKMSCL has provided the Eye Bank with all that was required but still the Bank is not functioning. Where does the glitch exist? The competent authorities must find out ways and means to have the pending formalities completed to enable the Eye Bank start functioning as considerable delay has taken place. Anyway, state of affairs of the Health and Medical Education Department are absolutely not satisfactory which is reflected in how the issue of the Eye Bank snowballed into delays, deferments, neglect as also apathy towards the needy public. Governor’s administration cannot afford to be mere spectators.