SRINAGAR: Come April, healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir will get a major infrastructural push with all district hospitals being equipped with fully functional state-of-the-art Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and operation theaters to save lives during the golden hour.
“Work is in progress. In the next two-three months, ICUs in all district hospitals will be functional. We have received the funds. Orders have been placed for the state of the art equipment,” Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, told The Kashmir Monitor.
Jammu and Kashmir has received the last tranche from the World Bank for upgrading the health sector. Under the Rs 367 crore project, all hospitals will have dedicated ICUs and trauma centers to deal with emergencies and avoid unnecessary referrals to tertiary hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu.
“We have got all funds. We have spent around Rs 40 crore on equipment. The ICUs will have dedicated staff. You will have anesthetists, physicians, surgeons, and all other emergency staff,” said Dulloo.
Jammu and Kashmir government is working hard to create a facility that will be at par with territory care hospitals so that all emergencies could be tackled without any hassles. However, officials are wary that it may not possible in the initial stages given the logistical issues.
“We will try to make it at par with our main hospitals. Having said so, it will not be possible in the first attempt. There are logistics involved. Any health center in far off place cannot match the tertiary hospitals,” said an officer.
Though the project was approved last year, the work gained pace early this year. “We are trying our best to complete the project before this financial year draws close. We wish that the ICUs will be set up in this financial year so that healthcare gets the required boost,” said the officer.
In addition, to ICUs, more than 37 hospitals will be equipped with state-of-the-art oxygen plants. Oxygen is the drug of choice for any critically ill patient irrespective of etiology and the first-line drug for COVID bilateral pneumonia. Many patients suffering from COVID induced pneumonia need oxygen therapy.