200-Bedded Maternity Hospital in Waiting Mode

Expectant mothers and new born continue to brave the brunt of petty politics and poor planning in the health sector resulting in chaotic situation in the so-called premier maternity hospital in the Temple City. Rush of patients inside maternity ward of SMGS Hospital in Jammu portrays enough proof of poor planning done by the health administrators in the State to cater to the rush of expectant mothers across the region. Since its inception, the SMGS Hospital has been providing maternity and childcare facilities but keeping in view the growing number of cases reported, it is unable to cope up with the rush. Some other hospitals in and around Jammu do have facilities for organizing safe deliveries but when it comes to dealing with complications almost all the patients flock to maternity ward of SMGS Hospital even from other district headquarters of the Jammu province.

Most of the time, more than one patient are adjusted on the single bed with newly born in the lap of attendants on the floor to save them from infections in the overcrowded wards. Ironically, 200-bedded maternity facility inside Gandhi Nagar Hospital, planned by the National Conference- Congress Government is yet to see the light of the day. The construction work of the project started in 2012-13 after facing many hiccups but till date the Health Department is struggling to complete the project, which has already missed several deadlines. Due to faulty planning and poor follow up even the PDP-BJP government could not complete it in time, resulting in undue delay. It is no more a secret that the local representative had lobbied hard for the maternity hospital in his assembly constituency by throwing all norms to wind.

When this correspondent visited the under-construction building of the hospital complex in Gandhi Nagar, work on different floors was still going on. The department, due to poor planning, added to the miseries of the expectant mothers by failing to incorporate basic amenities such as air conditioning, ramp and waste treatment plant at the time of designing the project. Absence of these components created piquant situation for the health administrators, who after completing the civil works of the building realized they had not made provisions for these facilities. Official sources claimed that over 80 per cent work is complete on the project and necessary equipment and machinery is supposed to be procured by the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited. No one in the State Health Department was willing to set a deadline for completion of the project. – State Times

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