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How ‘ill-equipped’ private hospitals risk lives of pregnant women, unborn kids ‘for money’

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Oct 21: Her eighth month of pregnancy, and she looked forward to delivering her first baby. But in a week, her health deteriorated.

The distraught family members began to gather in front of the doctor’s chamber at a noted private hospital in Kashmir, demanding an explanation from the consultant.

The hospital authorities had categorically told them that Shazia (name changed) has developed some “serious health complications, which they can’t deal with”.

 

“I had been visiting the hospital for regular check-ups for the last eight months. Last time when I visited the hospital, they performed several tests including an ultrasound,” said Shazia

Her husband, Nazir Ahmad (name changed), said every time they went for a check-up, she was asked to do more tests.

“The doctor would ask for a new test on almost every visit. After going through the reports, she reassured that the baby was healthy,” Nazir said.

However, the things turned topsy-turvy, as Shazia had begun vomiting frequently and turned feeble with each passing day.

“Her condition was such that she couldn’t even digest water. I made several rounds to the hospital and spent around Rs 50-60 thousand on the tests, but all of them yielded no result,” said Nazir.

Last week when Shazia turned mute, Nazir rushed her to the Lal Ded (LD) Hospital, the premier government-run maternity facility in the valley.

“Initially, the government hospital was reluctant to admit her and bashed me for my callousness. They accused me of taking here there when the survival chances for the child were zero. Who would tell them it was negligence on part of the private hospital?” asked Nazir.

She was diagnosed with extreme dehydration and put on several bottles of dextrose.

Another tale of medical negligence was narrated by a 24-year-old Jabeen (name changed). She also received treatment from the same doctor but was later on referred to the LD Hospital.

Two weeks prior to the delivery, Jabeen developed a searing pain in the stomach and was taken to the hospital, where she performed an ultrasound test.

“The doctors, after going through my reports, clearly told me that they had done their job and she should see a new doctor,” Jabeen said.

She was immediately rushed to the LD Hospital, where the doctors informed her that there were little chances of the baby’s survival.

“I couldn’t believe what they said. My doctor kept on telling me that my baby was perfectly healthy,” said Jabeen.

Jabeen complained that she, too, was prescribed repeated tests and “expensive” medicines.

“I spent around Rs 60,000 on the tests and medication, but I was left high and dry in the end,” she lamented.

While a huge number of private hospitals and nursing homes have mushroomed in Jammu and Kashmir over the years, most of them lack necessary facilities with the authorities failing to regulate their working.

According to the official details, 44 private hospitals and nursing homes are registered with the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir.

Officials said of these 44 private hospitals and nursing homes, only one is having a registered blood bank.

However, officials said the other hospitals were given registrations after they were affiliated with the government hospitals and allowed to procure blood from there at the time of emergency.

A senior medico at the SMHS Hospital said it was necessary for every hospital to have its own blood bank.

“If there are complications during the surgery or at the time of emergency, these hospitals most of the times shift patients to tertiary care government hospitals thus risking the lives of patients,” the medico said.

An official of health department said a team of officials inspect hospitals prior to its registration.

“Their registration is also being renewed every three years. We check their manpower, infrastructure and they also have to get the NOC from the fire services department, pollution control department, and municipal committees,” he said.

Except a few, these hospitals have no accident and emergency units, which is compulsory for every hospital, and they also lack intensive care units, ventilators and the diagnostic facilities.

Dr Shehnaz Teing, a noted gynaecologist said, “We have all the facilities here at the LD Hospital to deal with a patient who develops any complications. On the contrary, there are no blood banks, intensive care units, advanced equipment, neo-natal intensive care units within the private institutes in the valley.”

Teing said, “It’s true that there is more comfort in the private hospitals, but the safety lies within the government hospitals.”

Atul Dulloo, Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Department, refused to comment.

 

 


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Convoy movement by road in JK to continue: MHA

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Feb 17: Movement of paramilitary convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons will continue in Jammu and Kashmir as it is “necessary”, the Home Ministry said Sunday, even though it has increased air support to carry troops to the state.

The statement came after 49 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus, part of a 78 vehicle convoy, in the state’s Pulwama district.

In the wake of reports suggesting that the central government has rejected a proposal to ferry personnel of paramilitary forces from the Jammu-Srinagar sector by chopper, the ministry said it has significantly enhanced air courier services in all sectors to cut travel time of troops.

 

“Movement of convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons has been and will continue to be necessary. This is also the case with the army,” the Home Ministry said.

Reports appeared in a section of the media that air transit facility in the Jammu- Srinagar sector for CRPF troops has not been allowed. This is “untrue”, it said.

“Fact of the matter is, over the last few years, the MHA has significantly enhanced air courier services for CAPFs in all sectors to help troopers cut down on travel time during their journey to and back from home on leave,” it said.

In the Jammu and Kashmir sector, air courier service for transportation of personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs) are already in operation for quite some time.

This initially included the Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu sector. Later, at the request of CAPFs in December 2017, the services were extended to the Delhi-Jammu- Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector with seven flights a week.

In December 2018, the ministry had approved enhancement of air support by increasing routes and in the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector. “In addition, air support is provided by the Indian Air Force as and when required. Several sorties were run for the CRPF in January 2019,” the ministry said.

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For ‘celebrating’ Pulwama attack: Sedition charges against 4 female students

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Feb 17: Four female paramedical students have been slapped with sedition charges after being suspended from a private institute here for allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack by posting “anti-national” messages on an instant messaging app, officials said Sunday.

The second-year students of the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir, were suspended for posting on WhatsApp a picture in which they were purportedly seen celebrating the attack in Kashmir that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF personnel.

The picture soon went viral, prompting the university administration to take action.

 

In the suspension order, the NIMS registrar said, “You have posted an anti-national message on your WhatsApp for celebrating killing of Pulwama attack martyrs. The university will not tolerate and strictly condemns such activities. The act is grave and serious in nature.”

Later, a case was registered against the four students following a complaint by the university administration, a police official said.

The students were booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act. Senior officials are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken thereafter, SP (Rural) Harendra Kumar said.

The Aligarh Muslim University has also suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.

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PM on Lethpora attack: ‘Fire in my heart too’

Agencies

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New Delhi, Feb 17: The demand for retaliatory action following the suicide attack in Lethpora grew on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bihar to inaugurate some central projects.

As NDA ally Nitish Kumar called for appropriate response, ally Ram Vilas Paswan said India should take “revenge” for “every drop of blood shed in Pulwama”.

The Prime Minister said he shared the nation’s outrage.

 

“To the people who have gathered here, I would like to say the fire that is raging in your bosoms is in my heart too,” he said.
Forty nine personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force died on Thursday as a suicide bomber of Jaish rammed a car, filled with explosives, into a 78-vehicle convoy.

The resulting explosion had ripped apart one bus and hit another, spreading metal debris and human remains over a 100-metre radius on the national highway.

There have been repeated demands for appropriate action from the shocked nation.

Slain Rajouri CRPF man: Guv announces ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh

Jammu Feb 17: Governor Satya Pal Malik has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 20 lakh to the next of the kin of CRPF Head Constable, Naseer Ahmed of district Rajouri.
Naseer Ahmad was one of the 49 CRPF troopers killed when a CRPF convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber.
The Governor prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and expressed sympathy and solidarity with his family members.

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