Poor infrastructure, shortage of doctors, ventilators spell doom for J&K’s efforts

AVINAV VERMA. Updated: 3/26/2020 11:39:17 AM Front Page

JAMMU: Although Jammu and Kashmir government is burning midnight fuel to tackle the threat and spread of Coronavirus, the shortage of doctors as well as ventilators, coupled with poor health infrastructure is triggering apprehensions regarding potential of administration to deal with the deadly virus.
In the latest bulletin, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday informed that the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in the valley has gone up to 8 and in the Union Territory to 11.
With coronavirus positive cases increasing with each passing day, the Jammu and Kashmir hospitals are inadequate to deal with the crisis.
“The government has deputed special doctors in Jammu and Kashmir to deal with present situation but on ground there is acute shortage of doctors,” a doctor associated in special duty for coronavirus informed The News Now.
He added “In future if the situation turns worse then it will be an uphill task for the administration to deal with the threat of coronavirus.”
“For instance, presently more than 22 percent of Primary Health Centers (PHCs) are functioning without doctors. Out of total 637 PHCs in J&K, 140 (22 percent) are functioning without doctors,” he said.
He further added that there is acute shortage of doctors in UT of J&K.
“Against the total sanctioned strength of 1347 doctors in the PHCs, only 694 are in position and 653 posts are lying vacant since long,” he added.
Another official informed that for the population of 1.25 crore, there are only 180 ventilators available across several hospitals across J&K.
Out of total ventilators, 93 available in Kashmir hospitals while 97 available in Jammu region.
“The ventilators in majority of hospitals across Union Territory are occupied. If unfortunately coronavirus cases increase in J&K, the administration of hospital may face problems to deal with situation,” he added.
“There are total 48 ventilators in ICU and high dependency ward of Government Medical College and Hospital,” he added.
“In the main ICU there are 12 ventilators, in ICU of emergency ward there are 10 ventilators. Apart from this, in room no-4 there are four portable ventilators available.”
“Ironically, majority of these ventilators are lying defunct due to technical glitches,” he added.
“In GMC patients are provided free ventilator services while in private hospitals people have to pay Rs 10000-13000,” he said.
Apart from the shortage of ventilators and doctors, the government is presently facing problems in absence of poor infrastructure.
“The J&K administration has been searching buildings to develop quarantine centers in the worst cases,” he said.
“Many private hospitals and hotel buildings have been identified and the backup plan is ready with government,” an administrative official said.
He assured that administration is ready to deal with any eventuality and crisis situation.

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