It is 2:45 pm on Monday and chaos arises at the Government Chest Disease (CD) Hospital at Dalgate as the technicians at the Pulmonary Function Test ( PFT) lab shut it down unannounced.
Hospital authorities informed the aggrieved patients that the PFT lab was shut temporarily for a “lunch break”. This did not just result in commotion outside the PFT lab, but even the Out Patient Department (OPD) where a doctor “walked-out” in protest accusing the lab technicians of “casual approach” towards their work.
“We had to literally beg the hospital authorities to re-start the PFT lab for the day so that the doctor could come back to the OPD room and start examining patients. Are we here to sort out the official matters of the hospital or get our treatment done,” said Muhammad Amin, a patient from Shalteng.
Amin, who had been waiting for a check-up for two hours, was part of a group of a dozen odd patients which had to approach the higher ups in the hospital to sort out the “internal wrangles” so that examining of patients at PFT lab and OPD could re-start.
According to sources, this sort of a continuing discord in the hospital over functioning of the PFT lab has hit patient care badly. Getting a PFT done at the lab at present takes almost three days.
The ultrasound section of the hospital wears a deserted look. A dysfunctional USG machine lies under a covered cloth. The machine is out of order for last three months and was scheduled to become operational on Monday but to no avail. “The doctors informed us that machine is working but technicians have a different story to tell. We have been running from pillar to post here and now they have asked us to come back after three days,” said Zohra, a patient.
The Polysomnography lab at the hospital where the Sleep test is conducted has also been out of order for last two weeks. A defect in the oxygen sensor has now made this only such machine in Kashmir hospitals idle. “This is a very elaborate test and we used to conduct one such test here everyday. Now with the fault in machine, we have a huge backlog of patients building up,” said a technician wishing not to be named.
The story is no different for the operation theater where work was suspended on Monday due to “lack of manpower”. “One of the technicians is on one month leave and two theater technicians were relieved recently. This resulted in closure of the theatre today due to lack of manpower,” said a doctor.
Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar Dr Samia Rashid said measures are being taken to make the defunct machines functional. “The USG machine will be operational in next few days as the defective part is being fixed. The sleep test machine is also in the process of being restored,” she said.
When asked about “internal wrangling” due to functioning of the PFT lab, Dr Samia said “ I will take it up with the medical superintendent of the concerned hospital and sort out the issue,”. – Greater Kashmir