4 yrs on, GMC&H-J’s H1N1 swine flu lab yet not ready

TNN Bureau. Updated: 3/19/2019 11:37:27 AM Health and Lifestyle

As cost escalates, project to complete by May’19

JAMMU: The high-profile H1N1 Swine Flu Laboratory, which was sanctioned for Government Medical College & Hospital Jammu in the year 2015, couldn’t see light of the day till today as with cost escalation due to missing of several deadlines and retendering, the work on this important project is yet not complete.

Highly placed sources informed The News Now that two H1N1 testing labs were approved by the State Government led by the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, out of which one was to be setup at Government Medical College & Hospital Jammu while another at Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar, which comes under Government Medical College & Hospital Srinagar.

Astonishingly, there is no facility for proper and timely diagnosis of Swine Flu patients in Jammu so far.
However, the Government Medical College & Hospital has created a separate Isolation Room in the hospital premises, where such patients are kept and provided treatment after they are tested positive.

“One of these labs at CD Hospital Srinagar was made functional about two years back whereas the other at GMC&H Jammu couldn’t be completed in time and missed several deadlines mainly due to failure on the part of Jammu & Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) to find a suitable vendor (company) for purchase of equipments and other requisite items to run the lab, which not only resulted in missing of deadlines but also led to cost escalations by more than Rs. 1 Crore,” they said, adding, “The H1N1 Swine Flu Lab was supposed to be completed in three different parts and under first part, the JKMSCL was assigned the job to procure both consumable as well as non-consumable items including purchase of equipments etc and their installation but it couldn’t be made possible due to their casual approach.”

“The Planning & Development Department of the State had released Rs. 6.30 Crore to Health & Medical Education Department in March 2015 for establishment of H1N1 Swine Flu Lab at Government Medical College & Hospital Jammu besides Rs. 5.63 Crore for setting up same facility at Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar,” the sources further said, adding, “On account of cost escalation due to delay in completion of project in Jammu, there is need of additional funds of around Rs. 1 Crore to make the Lab functional.”

Talking to The News Now, a senior officer of the Health & Medical Education Department, on the condition of anonymity, informed that there was a court case pertaining to delay in establishing the Swine Flu Lab at the GMC&H Jammu as the JKMSCL had failed to purchase the equipments etc for the purpose in time.

“The Court directed the administration of Government Medical College & Hospital to carry out the project at its own level and soon after it invited four companies related to the trade but none of them came forward and later, the hospital administration approached the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) New Delhi for suggestions and on their recommendation, it contacted Bio Safe Lab India Private Limited for the job, which has also installed a similar lab at Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar under Government Medical College & Hospital Srinagar,” he said.

“As the work on Swine Flu Lab is in progress, it is most likely to be completed in the month of April or May this year,” he said in reply to a question about completion of the project.

Comment on this Story