No basic lab tests facility for patients in CD Hospital as only laboratory lying closed for last one year

*OPD patients being sent to GMC Jammu for tests

Govind Sharma

JAMMU, Mar 9: At a time when even Government primary health centres and small private nursing homes have basic laboratory tests facility, there is no such facility available in Chest Disease (CD) Hospital Jammu as the only laboratory of the Hospital has been lying closed for last more than one year.
Official sources told Excelsior that following outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in the Union Territory in February last year, all except one technician of the only laboratory of the Hospital was shifted to Microbiology Laboratory of Government Medical College Jammu in the month of April to help Microbiology Department in terms of manpower to conduct RTPCR based COVID testing.
They said as the COVID pandemic started spreading, the CD Hospital was declared as designated Level-2 COVID Hospital and both IPD and OPD services were shut for the routine patients. “As a result, the only laboratory was also closed as there were no patients but after re-start of OPD services in the Hospital premises last month, the patients has once again started increasing and now the need of the laboratory to conduct basic tests is being felt not only by the patients but also doctors,” they added.
Sources said non-COVID Chest Diseases patients have already suffered a lot in last one year but now when the OPD services have been re-started in the Hospital premises itself, there is no logic to keep the laboratory of the Hospital closed and send the OPD patients even for simple blood tests to Central laboratory of GMC Jammu.
They said being only Chest Diseases Hospital in the whole Jammu Region, hundreds of patients suffering from Chest Diseases not only from Jammu but adjoining districts daily visit the Hospital for seeking expert consultation and treatment of their ailments but even for basic blood tests they are being send to GMC Jammu which is already overloaded with patients.
On the conditions of anonymity, a senior doctor of CD Hospital said that he is unable to understand as to why the lab of the Hospital has been kept closed when ultrasound and X-Ray facility has been opened for the routine OPD patients. He said that patients are suffering a lot due to closure of the laboratory.
“Every 5th patient we see, needs to undergo some basic blood tests like HB, CBC, Blood Sugar, Liver/Kidney function tests, ESR, TLC/DLC etc to properly diagnose his/her ailment but no test is being conducted here and the patients are being sent to Central laboratory of GMC Jammu for these basic tests,” he said, adding, as a result the patients are getting their test reports late, leading to delay in start of their treatment.
When contacted, Medical Superintendent of CD Hospital, Dr Rajeshwar Sharma said that the Hospital is still a notified Level-2 COVID Hospital. “Although there is no COVID positive patient admitted in the Hospital for last more than 30 days, but the Hospital has not been de-notified by the administration,” he added.
Dr Sharma admitted that there is need to open the laboratory as with the re-start of OPD services in the Hospital premises from 23rd of last month, the patient rush has started increasing. He said that the issue will be taken with the Principal GMC Jammu soon so that the Chest Diseases patients can get their basic tests done in the laboratory of the Hospital itself.