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Doctors call for overhaul of healthcare system after COVID19 death

Posted on March 26, 2020 –

Srinagar: Kashmir woke up to the first COVID-19 death on Thursday morning, sending alarm bells ringing across various communities.

What came as a shocker was a Facebook post from a family member alleging negligence on part of the authorities that  resulted in the patient’s death.

Hours after Divisional Administration ordered an inquiry into the alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 patient in Srinagar.

The Kashmir Monitor spoke to some health experts in the valley to know their views on the probe.

A resident doctor at SMHS, who was present on the day of duty when the deceased patient reported to the hospital said it was only after persistent insisting that one of the attendants revealed his domestic travel history. 

“Further, we were never shown any previous prescription from either JVC or SKIMS, Soura. We referred him to the CD Hospital purely on the basis of clinical suspicion,” he said

Dr. Adnan Zahoor, an orthopedician, said neither the family nor the doctors should face the societal backlash. “Three days back, there were no Indian Medical Research guidelines on the testing of patients with domestic travel history. Only patients with a history of foreign travel were supposed to be tested. The doctors did whatever they could and family too can’t be held responsible,” he said.

Dr. Zahoor noted that the health care system of Jammu and Kashmir needs a revamp.

“The blame game should stop. There should be more testing facilities and required protective equipment available in the hospitals,” he said.

Community Health Expert at Government Medical College Srinagar said the doctors need to be more empathetic and careful while noting down the clinical history of patients.  

“I personally feel that doctors in the valley don’t give proper listening to the patient’s needs. Consequently, he doesn’t vent out the proper details of his ailment,” he said wishing not to be named.