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‘Of human hearts’: Doctors, paramedics to work pro-bono for SMC-backed COVID hospitals

WhatsApp Image 2021 05 17 at 7.22.26 PM 1

 Srinagar:  Summer capital city will have three new charitable COVID hospitals run by a dedicated group of doctors and paramedics who will work pro-bono to help people in distress.

The level II hospitals have been set up jointly by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and Ehsaas International, a Kashmir-based NGO.


One of three 50-bedded hospitals will be operationalized on Tuesday. SMC has converted three community centers at Babademb, Nowshera, and Rainawari into the hospitals.

“We had called for an online application for doctors. Nearly 100 doctors came forward. Of whom we selected 50. The rest have been hired by the government. So they could not be taken on board. Most of these doctors are those who were studying in different colleges in Bangladesh and other countries. We have 150 paramedics on board. All of them will work pro bono,” Hakim Mohammad Ilyas, General Secretary of Ehsaas International told The Kashmir Monitor.

Apart from providing buildings, Srinagar Municipal Corporation has provided beds, electricity, food, and other logistical support. “We have provided buildings, beds, furniture other facilities. We will be providing round-the-clock electricity. We have also kept the generator back up. Plus we are also buying oxygen concentrators,” said an officer at SMC.  

 All three hospitals are under the supervisory control of three main territory hospitals in Srinagar. “For example, Babademb hospital will be under the supervision of CD hospital, SKIMS will take care of Nowshera hospital and JLNM hospital will oversee Rainawari facility. Every day, doctors from three hospitals will take a round of the wards in these centers. Our doctors and paramedics will be posted 24×7,” said Hakeem.

The subtext of the facility is to decongest the main COVID hospitals. “We will not admit anyone on our own. Only the patients who have mild symptoms or need moderate oxygen support will be admitted to these hospitals. It is a kind of referral and only referred patients would be admitted,” said Hakeem.

Ehsaas International is bringing oxygen concentrators through air cargo to make hospitals operational.  “We have airlifted concentrators because there is so much hassle in getting them by road. So many inter-state procedures cause delays. So we have booked air cargo to airlift them directly to Srinagar,” he said.

Earlier, a 100 bedded hospital was set up jointly by the government and Athrout, a Srinagar-based Charity organization, at Haj house. “Doctors and paramedics have been provided by the health department. It is a secondary hospital where people have a short stay,” said an official at Athrout.