By Dr Maqsood
The life of whole world including India has come to standstill due to Covid 19 pandemic. Some countries are badly affected including our country which presently tops the list so far as the miseries of people and collapsing of the healthcare system is concerned. If we take the example of Jammu and Kashmir , it is among the top ten states of India so far as the number of new COVID 19 cases and the deaths per lac population is concerned. As I am residing from Anantnag and is currently working as Medical officer , Consultant in charge and Neurologist in GMC Anantnag and having experience of continuously working in the Covid 19 isolation ward for the last 4 months I feel that I should share the experience of working in Government medical college Anantnag and the challenges we face while dealing with the Covid 19 patients .While continuously working and treating the patient at the ground level I feel I have the capacity to share my observations.
Starting from the January 2021 our Covid 19 patients showed a decreasing trend and by the end of Febuary 2021 we had few patients in the Covid 19 ward. While proceeding from the late February to mid march our patients increased from 2 patients to 20 patients. However over the last few days we have to dedicate one full ward to the Covid 19 patients as the inflow of such patients increased tremendously from 20 Patients to 50 patients. Over the last few days our patients have tricked to the surgery ward and the casualty also. As the oxygen ports are full with Covid patients administration is trying hard to increase the bed strength and install the new oxygen plant so that many patients could be put on high flow oxygen. Under such conditions where you have limited beds available with limited oxygen supply the doctors on duty had to face the wrath and outburst of the ailing patients and are at high risk of beating for no fault of theirs. Under such circumstances who is to blame ? should we blame the doctors who are risking their lives besides putting their families at risk to perform the duties which amounts almost going for the suicide mission or should we blame the people who are miserable and have the hope to get treated in the hospital with their patients striving for the oxygen bed and gasping for the oxygen. Under such conditions the doctor is psychologically traumatised. While talking about the GMC Anantnag and keeping in view the Govt policy to designate the GMC Anantnag as the Tertiary care hospital for south Kashmir which means no patients could be referred to the other tertiary care hospital of Jammu and Kashmir like CD hospital , SKIMS and GMC Srinagar what is the option left with the doctors working in GMC Anantnag and the heart broken patients of south Kashmir .
Another misery is that while the total admissions belong to the medicine department include more than 80 % patients from the Covid patients the medical and paramedical staff should also be rationalized like wise. Our administrators including worthy Principal , Medical superintendent and the HODs are working hard to tide over the crises however everything is not in their hands only. While performing their duties our Medine HOD, Medical superintendent and administrative officer have turned positive and you could better imagine the plight of the hospital under such trusting times. Keeping in view the high rate of Covid 19 positivity among the health care workers in GMC Anantnag we should take necessary steps to rationalize the duty of doctors and paramedical staff who are presently working so that alternative teams are ready in case one team gets infected. I suggest there should be common pool among all the doctors including medical and paramedical specialities so that there could be minimal exposure and less chances of contracting the Covid 19 infection among the health care workers in GMC Anantnag before it is too late to collapse.
I suggest district administration should designate this GMC hospital as an exclusive Covid 19 designated hospital and the associated hospitals like SDH Bijbehara, SDH Mattan and SDH Dooru as non Covid hospitals . As there is mixing of patients at various levels including reception, casualty ward, surgical ICU and other wards also thereby increasing rather than decreasing the spread of infection for which hospital administration is not responsible keeping in view of having no option left with them. I believe my observations would be keenly considered and hope the good sense prevail. This is a testing time for all of us to stand up and work for the betterment of patients and humanity. These are my personal views with no intention to blame anybody. Hope good sense prevail. Thank you.