Thursday, February 5, 2009

In Kashmir hospital, doctors operate only after suicide threats from patients

Naseer A Ganai 

Srinagar, Feb 4: To draw attention of the authorities, a youth admitted in the Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Science Soura threatened to commit suicide, as in the past 45 days he was returned four times from the operation theatre where he was taken for a valve replacement surgery. The authorities have now decided to do the surgery on Thursday.

 The patient, Firdous Ahmad of Dafpora, Nasarullahpora in Budgam, said he was even administered anesthesia once in the theatre, but he was shifted to the ward 1-A without the surgery. Admitted on 4 December 2008 Firdous said he came from a poor family and the villagers had collected money for the metal-valve replacement surgery costing Rs I lakh. 
 Firdous told the para medical staff he would commit suicide if there was further delay in surgery. The authorities have now decided to operate on him on Thursday. In the same ward a month ago a patient committed suicide by hanging himself from ceiling of the bathroom. 
 The Director SKIMS Dr Hamid Zargar didn’t comment on the issue. “I am not aware about the incident,” he said, adding that the Head of the Department concerned “would be the better person to speak on the matter.” The HOD concerned said the delay in the surgery was caused by non-availability of ventilators in the Intensive Care Unit. He said after operation such patients require post-operation care, part of which includes putting the patient on ventilator for 24 to 48 hours, in some cases more than 48 hours.  
 The HoD said in Firdous’s case the ventilator was not available on the due dates forcing the authorities to delay the operation. “Every day emergency cases come up and it is our duty to save a life of person who is dying,” he said. 
 He said the patient who committed suicide a month ago was brought to the SKIMS from Jammu hospital for surgery. “His condition was very bad but we operated upon him. He was recovering. But after few days when we were about to discharge him his brother abandoned him there and ostensibly he was depressed because of that and committed suicide,” he said.
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