SRINAGAR — Designating all main hospitals as COVID-19 dedicated hospitals amid the steep surge in the wake of the pandemic, non-COVID-19 patients across Jammu and Kashmir are suffering to get themselves treated at the facilities.
People from different areas of J&K said they are unable to get treatment as OPDs across hospitals across the union territory which have been closed on the directions of the government.
“When all the main hospitals have been designated as COVID-19 dedicated hospitals and OPDs have been closed, what is the option available for non-COVID-19 patients to get the treatment?” they said.
Zamdoora, a pregnant lady from Anantnag, said that she is unable to visit for monthly check-ups to Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) Anantnag as she belongs to a poor family and has no option to reach there in absence of public transport.
She said that the government should at least depute one senior gynecologist once a week to CHCs/PHCs so that local pregnant ladies can come for check-ups there without facing any hurdles.
Abdul Khaliq, a resident of Pulwama, said that though OPDs have been closed but even for medical emergencies, patients have to suffer as first they have to go through COVID-19 test along with their attendants.
“Only influential people are getting treatment presently and poor people have to move from pillar to post to get the treatment,” he said.
Doctors from various hospitals on condition of anonymity have acknowledged that non-COVID-19 patients are suffering as all attention is being given to COVID-19.
Doctors said that the government should have designated only two tertiary care hospitals fully for COVID-19 as around 2,000 patients are admitted in J&K.
“The two hospitals will have a capacity of over 2000 beds and the rest of the hospitals should have been kept for non-COVID-19 patients,” they said.
They added that due to closing of OPDs, various diseases including cancer are not being detected on time in many patients which later proves fatal.
Doctors said that a patient comes to OPD with headache or stomach ache. However, while going through tests, it is found the patient is suffering from cancer, tumor or other deadly diseases.
“Patients suffering from hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases besides other issues are suffering as the main focus of the healthcare services is being given to the pandemic only,” they said. “There is no doubt that COVID-19 is an emergency but the government must make a strategy for management of non-COVID-19 patients as early detection of every disease is necessary.”
People across J&K have also appealed to authorities to look into the matter and take immediate steps in this regard so that non-COVID-19 patients do not suffer and get treatment on time. (KNO)