Srinagar, August 29, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, people are facing a major health crisis with medicine running out, patients being turned away from hospitals and people unable to call for ambulances amid the continued lockdown. Inside the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital, few patients are waiting for their treatment with wards and beds left mostly empty.
One official, who asked to remain anonymous, told media that the number of surgeries performed on daily basis is down by 40 to 60 per cent in majority of the hospitals in occupied Kashmir. Doctors argue that the shift to focus on emergency services, fearing mass casualties from continued protests against India’s 5th August decision to revoke the territory’s special status.
“There is fear of unknown and impending tragedy that might strike occupied Kashmir. We have to be fully prepared,” says surgeon, Dr Iqbal Salim. Dr Iqbal Salim says they have moved staff from general operation theatres to casualty and emergency theatres, resulting in a delay in routine surgeries. On average, the hospital was able to perform 20 routine surgeries a day, now we are unable to cover more than six, he says.
Naseema Akhter, 62, writhes in pain in her home in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town. She desperately needs immediate surgery to remove multiple stones detected in her gallbladder, but was turned away when she arrived at the hospital earlier this month after authorities decided to postpone her treatment.
“I am in severe pain and there is no way to get my surgery done. It is unethical. Doctors are not agreeing to operate until normalcy returns,” Akhter told media. The doctors instead prescribed pain relief medicines and asked me to return once the precarious political situation is resolved, Akhter said.
“We have been told to put the routine surgeries on hold as there are fears of people getting critical injuries if protests erupt against the August 05 decision,” the official in the SMHS hospital told media. In north Kashmir, Showkat Hussain, 12, is also unable to receive the surgery he needs to remove the hernia.
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549