Swine Flu: Government Hospitals– Laziness! No Tamiflu, no N95 Masks, Shortage of Ventilators


Puneet Gupta


U4U Voice was the first to break the lack of N95 Masks to you and also the vexing callus attitude of those in authority at GMC Jammu. In the follow up to talking about N 95 Masks and the lack thereof here is bringing to you the other lack of facilities at GMC Jammu. The situation at the tertiary government hospitals both in Jammu and Kashmir shows the lackadaisical attitude of those in authority. With no Tamiflu with the doctors or the patients, the acute shortage of N 95 masks and the under-capacity arrangements at the government hospitals, the situation looks dangerous.

You may have already read about the toll of deaths due to Swine flu in Jammu and Kashmir reaching a total of six with positive cases running close to 150 now. The dreaded disease is already taking the shape of an epidemic and even the doctors are not safe in the environment at government hospitals both in Jammu and in Kashmir. HOD Medicine, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr Parvaiz Kaul told PTI, “I cannot confirm the exact number, but yes 2-3 doctors have tested positive for the virus.”

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“The safety of both doctors and patients alike is at stake and the authorities have done nothing to avoid the situation that we are getting sucked into,” a consultant in the Department of Medicine told U4U Voice on the condition of anonymity.

The doctor further added, “Swine Flu has claimed hundreds of lives all across India and even though the authorities knew that the influenza infection is turning into an epidemic like situation, they have just been sitting idly without concern.”

“For instance, there has been no directive to procure N95 Masks and the ones which were present are usable only for 8 hours. There is not enough Tamiflu in the hospital or in Jammu and the stock in Kashmir has already exhausted,” the doctor added.

The doctor said, “Yesterday, a patient who tested positive for Swine Flu was admitted to the general ward at SMHS in Srinagar. This is of serious concern since the infected patient should have been admitted to an isolation ward. A single patient can infect all those in the ward and this is a case of sheer carelessness.”

Adding further the doctor expressed serious concern about the shortage of Ventilators at GMC Jammu, “Once an infected patient reached an advance stage in the infection, the patient has to shifted to a ventilator and we just do not have enough ventilators at the hospital, if the situation worsens.”

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