The attendants said they were not able to buy the medicines, which are not available with the hospitals, from market since the shops are closed. “I have been prescribed an injection by the doctors at SMHS hospital. It is not available in the hospital so I went out to buy it but to no avail. Most of the pharmacy shops are closed. The ones that are open don’t have this,” said Farooq Ahmad, an attendant.
When senior national conference minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar today visited JLNM hospital in downtown Srinagar, along with senior officials of the health department, the attendants raised the issue of unavailability of medicines in the hospital with him. The minister assured the attendants of help and said he will talk to the hospital administration.
Many people, as in the past, have called for greater cooperation and coordination between the police and health departments in situations like these. “While it is important to maintain law and order, it is equally important to ensure that no one is denied the healthcare in this situation,” said Muhammad Yousuf, a retired government employee. “Police and health department should have a better coordination in these situations. At least, patients and ambulances should be given free passage.”
At G B Pant Children’s hospital, located near the Badami Bagh Cantonment, the officials said that hospital was functioning smoothly and they were admitting and discharging patients normally. “We have provided ambulance services and curfew passes to 17 patients who were discharged from the hospital and had to go to far off places like Kupwara,” said Dr. M. Salim Khan, deputy medical superintendant of the hospital.
He, however, added that many attendants were coming to them saying that they had exhausted all the money they were carrying in the past four days as they have not been able to move back to their homes.
Director health services, Kashmir Dr. Salim-ur-Rehman said that all the health care facilities across the Valley were functioning normally. “All the staff in all hospitals is reporting to duties, surgeries are being done, OPDs and IPDs are functioning normally,” he asserted.
He, however, dodged the queries about the shortage of medicine by saying this was because the pharmacy shops are closed. “This query (of shortage of medicines) should be taken to drug control department,” he said.
The situation may only worsen if curfew is not relaxed in the next few days.
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