The ongoing unrest in Kashmir has resulted in decrease of patient rush in tertiary-care hospitals in Srinagar as non-availability of public transport has forced the patients to seek treatment at peripheral health facilities.
Super Specialty hospital, an associated hospital of Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, has witnessed a dip of 40% of patients over the last more than one month. Similarly, two other associated hospitals of the GMC — Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) as well as the maternity Lal Ded — have witnessed a considerable dip in patient rush since August 5.
Another super-specialty hospital — Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Srinagar — too has reported a dip in the patient admissions. The decrease in patient rush at super-specialty hospitals in Srinagar has resulted in a steep rise in the influx of patients at district hospital and primary health centers.
Under normal circumstances, the tertiary care hospitals would witness a huge rush as patient would skip peripheral hospitals.
A doctor at the Super Specialty hospital Srinagar said a good portion of patients, who had follow-ups or surgeries scheduled could not visit the facility, leading to a dip. “Surely there is a decrease in the patient flow at the GMC and its associated hospital in Srinagar. Number of surgeries that were supposed to be carried out, have also seen a dip,” he said.
A senior official of Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) said that they are doing whatever they can to cater to the patient rush that their healthcare facilities in the peripheries are witnessing. “This is not something new for us as during the 2016 unrest situation was the same. The availability of transport plays a major role in the up and down of the patient rush. So, those who don’t have own transport, are visiting health facilities in their respective districts,” he said.
Even in Srinagar city, people prefer to visit the health facilities situated in their areas, rather than thronging to SKIMS or SMHS. However, those with their own transport are reaching to super-specialty hospitals in Srinagar.