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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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Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India

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New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”

“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.

“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.

 

“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.

In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.

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GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.

Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.

The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.

 

Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.

The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.

Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.

Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.

A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.

“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.

As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.

The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.

Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.

As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.

The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.

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Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar

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Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.

The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.

The incident comes to the fore      days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.

 

Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.

“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.

There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.

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