Kashmir Indepth

“SKIMS isolation wards not less than a jail”, allege patients

Patients are being given best care: MS SKIMS

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Ishtiyaq Ahmed

Srinagar, April 14 (KINS): “This is not an isolation ward. This is a jail and we are not less than prisoners here,” said a patient at one of the isolation wards in Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura.

He was seconded by others also lodged in the same ward where Covid-19 positive patients are under quarantine.

However the hospital authorities said that the patients are being given all possible care.

A patient (name withheld), told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) over phone that his son-in-law had a travel history of Bombay and other parts of India.

 “After returning in the last week of March, my son-in-law came to my house and we welcomed him the way we used to in the past. But after few days we came to know that he was tested positive for coronavirus,” the patient said.

“Accordingly My son-in-law was admitted in SKIMS while I was put in quarantine and later admitted in isolation ward SKIMS. They took my samples twice and recently I was told I am Covid-19 positive.” he said.

He said that now he along with others is in isolation ward, the food provided to them has added more to their issues. “I was not used to eat Dals, but here I have no option as SKIMS provides us Dal-rice, cauliflowers. These vegetables are rich in proteins and have caused urine issues to me.”

Asked why he calls the isolation ward as jail, he said “now that he has urine issue, he wanted to convey the same to the doctors, but hardly any doctor is available in the ward. “They don’t come here,” he claimed.

“On Monday evening I was conveyed from the door of the ward that I have retested positive”

Another patient in the same ward told KINS over phone that though the hospital authorities provide them good food like chicken paneer and vegetables, but they don’t provide them fruits. “The doctors here have advised us to take fruits regularly in order to boost our immunity, but neither they themselves provide us fruits nor they allow our families to bring it from outside,” the patient wished not to be named, alleged.

Another patient admitted in the same ward alleged that despite repeated requests, no authority visited the ward. “We have various health issues, whom should we convey. This is why we call it a jail. In jail at least jail head listens to the issues, but here we have none except Allah,” he said.

When KINS informed Director SKIMS Dr Ahanger, he straightaway said “I am in the meeting. You should talk to Medical superintendent”.

However talking to KINS, Medical Superintendent SKIMS Soura, Dr Farooq Ahmed Jan said the patients are being given best care. “Our doctors are available and our medical staff is there. The issue is that we didn’t allow outside fruit to them which irritated them,” he said.

He maintained that every morning and evening, doctors, even senior doctors review cases. “The allegation that no doctor visits them is totally wrong. Fact is that doctors do visit to the patients in the isolation. There is no authenticity in the allegations that no doctor visits the ward,” Jan said. He said that he will ensure that all the patients in isolation ward would be provided fresh fruit.

Asked why there is a mix-up among the patients, he said that barring few, those in the isolation are not mixed like positives and negatives. “Positive patients are kept separately as per the set levels. We have five different levels where patients are segregation. Entire staff is working day and night,” he said. “There is no question of mixing positive patients with the negatives ones.”

He reiterated that “fruit issue has become a bone of contention” but that issue will be addressed. “We follow proper guidelines. Doctors who visit patients have to wear proper Personal Protective Kit (PPE). So we can’t give PPEs to every doctor for visiting the wards. Patients must cooperate with us as they should understand doctors and nurses are putting their lives on the line while going closer to the patients,” the MS SKIMS said. (KINS)

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