Srinagar, October 09: People come here from far off villages to get treated but you will be shocked to know what they get in return, hours long standing in queues, that’s all. Only lucky ones get treated and other go back home more sick than before. This is the story of almost every patient at the Out Patient department of of Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, the premier health institute in Kashmir.
According to report in a local daily, there are 4 OPD card counters and 2 OPD Cash Counters where in thousand and on Monday (5th October) nearly 1012 registrations were made at the card counter and only 750 made it to deposit fee at the cash counter while the rest has to go home, untreated. A number of the patients at SKIMS came from far off villages of Srinagar, they too left with no option but to return and come back the next day for treatment. This is Bizzare. The average waiting time for OPD Counters is 1 hour, and for Cash Counters 3 hours which close at 03:15 pm.
Medical Superintendent of SKIMS, Dr. Farooq Jan also agrees to the fact that there is a ‘huge load’ at the counters for OPD every day and to the fact that it is common for patients to spend a day at the Institute and return without getting treatment. He also said that the Institute has already started construction of a new block adjacent to OPD which will be dedicated entirely for OPD Counters that will help in the fast treatment of the ailing. He added that the block will be completed in a year.
Talking or records, in the year 2014, more than eight lakh people visited the Out Patient department of of Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences which makes it close to two thousand people in a day and with just four card counters and two cash counters, it impossible to provide treatment to two thousand people in a day.
According to the superintendent, the infrastructure of SKIMS has not been improved since its establishment when the hospital OPD used to just 1 lakh patients in a year.
It is pertinent to mention here that in 2012, SKIMS submitted a proposal of Rs 452 crore project to Government of India for the much needed expansion. Funding was required for adding 500 beds, an Emergency and Trauma Center and expanding the OPD infrastructure. However, no progress was made on the proposal and now the institute is expanding OPD counter with the state funding.