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news details
COVID-19: No beds for critical patients in Jammu hospitals
Patient pays Rs 35000 to private ambulance for shifting him to Srinagar
9/25/2020 11:20:51 PM
Asif Iqbal Naik

Early Times Report

Kishtwar, Sept 25: In a glaring instance of “open loot” during pandemic, a seriously ill COVID-19 positive patient had to pay Rs 35000/ to a private ambulance to shift him from Jammu to Srinagar hospital.
According to the details available with Early Times the COVID positive patient was referred from District Hospital Kishtwar to Government Medical College Jammu but due to unavailability of beds he was told to go to Srinagar, following which he hired a private ambulance.
In mid night drama, two critical COVID-19 patients were forcefully shifted to GMC Jammu after an “arrogant” senior health official prevented the 108 ambulance service provider to shift the patients to SKIMS in Srinagar and told the driver to drop the patients in Jammu.
The patient was unable to get admission in a Jammu hospital due to non-availability of beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Even though Medical Superintendent District Hospital Kishtwar had given his consent to shift the two critically ill patients to Srinagar, but another senior official stalled the shifting of the patients, sources said. They said that even though several people assembled at District Hospital Kishtwar and raised slogans against the Health Department, the officer remained adamant and finally both patients were shifted to GMC Jammu by the family members with a heavy heart. Speaking to Early Times, the family member of the patient said that they paid Rs 35000/ to private ambulance service provider for shifting the patient and added that they didn’t want to leave the patient at the mercy of God at Jammu Hospital where authorities, he said, have “failed” to live up to the expectations of the people.
The family members further said that the tall claims of the government about the availability of the facilities in the Jammu Hospital are a myth and the words of promise and action are not visible on ground.
They said that the family members of other critically ill patient are also making efforts to collect the money to shift the patient from Jammu to Srinagar Hospital.
Meanwhile, the angry people demanded immediate opening of Sinthan road so that they can shift the patients to Srinagar hospitals which are nearer for the locals of Kishtwar and Doda Districts during hard pandemic time.
The people also questioned the issue of compulsion of jurisdiction and demanded that the patients should be referred to the hospital as per the need and convenience of the patient.
Speaking to Early Times, a senior officer in District Administration said that they too have received many complaints. He assured that matter will be looked into.
The officials further said that they will take up the matter with senior government officials with regard to opening of Sinthan road added that there is no binding on shifting of patients to particular hospital. He said that on inquiry from MS Doda Hospital, it was found that several patients from Doda including COVID 19 patients were referred to different Valley based hospital.
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