Health at Stake
Despite the fact that government had issued instructions that Government Medical College, Jammu should accept only those cases in emergency which are referred from the district hospitals, the number of patients has kept on rising and sometime they have to be treated, and accommodated outside the wards, forced to share space, and attendants have to jostle with each other to get proper medical attention.
With rising population, the number of emergency cases is also rising in Jammu and it is due to this fact that there is high pressure on doctors as well as infrastructure in the emergency section. A number of time clashes have also been witnessed in the hospital as patients allege that medicos do not give adequate treatment to the patients. Health officials agree that there may be lapses in the hospital because pressure is huge, and they have already been stretched to the maximum limit. The lack of adequate nursing, and support staff is also a reason that patients sometimes do not get timely attention which is essential in the emergency ward.
The patients from the far flung districts however have a different tale to tell, and they accuse the government of not doing enough to provide adequate facilities as well as doctors who can help them by providing quality services. In fact hospitals in Kathua, Udhampur, Bani, Rajouri, Kishtwar are suffering from lack of manpower as a result of which patients are forced to rush to Jammu for treatment. While crores have been spent on buildings but no thought has been given to ensuring that quality manpower is available to help the patients most of whom are from weaker sections. A Kathua resident says that medicos do not prefer to spend time in rural areas, and want to be posted in Jammu city as most of them are from urban areas. As a result of this attitude, the people in these areas are also dependent on expensive private hospitals which are a burden on the masses. The patients at GMC suggest that there is need to immediately expand the capacity of emergency ward so that more patients can be accomodated, and treated. A large number of accident victims who are admitted in the emergency ward need immediate treatment, and this would be possible only if staff and facilities are increased, says Govardhen. The locals also want that hospitals in nearby towns and suburbs of Jammu should be strengthened by improving their services, and facilities so that people trust the same, and do not rush to GMC.
Vicky, who came to the hospital for seeing his friend says that diagnostic equipment in the hospital like CT Scan, X-Ray and other such things should be functional round the clock, and brought at par with the best in the country. The locals also want increase in the number of doctors, and para-medical staff so that none has to suffer because of inadequate staff or lack of treatment. The people also say that they would like to get treatment locally if it is available, and there is no need for them to rush to Jammu but when this is not possible they have no option but government medical college where they hope of getting some help.