It has been more than 6 years since the construction work on the new 100-bed In-Patient Department (IPD) extension at District Hospital Pulwama in South Kashmir was started but the facility remains incomplete, despite missing several deadlines. In 2012, the Government planned to increase the capacity of the existing 60-bed IPD block and build a new 100-bedded extension with an estimated cost of ₹28.16 crores. Work was handed over to the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board Corporation but meager funding has overstretched the project. The building besides being insufficient to cater to the rush of patients lacked space and was in bad shape. Construction work started in 2012 and was supposed to be complete by 2016. However, the work lost pace in 2016 after funds fell short. An official at the Hospital said that the project should have been completed in 2016 but the way work was going on, it would take another two years. “Look at the building. It is nowhere near completion. The Housing Board has failed miserably,” he said, adding the executive agency has not received funds regularly and that delayed the project.
The hospital administration said lack of space is affecting the healthcare services as the present building is insufficient to cater to the huge rush of the patients that hospital witness every day. The space constraint is also hampering the overall functioning of the hospital and patient care. Scores of patients from the adjoining Shopian and Budgam districts come to the hospital for treatment but are many a time referred to Srinagar or other places due to the want of space at the hospital. Medical Superintendent District Hospital Pulwama, Dr Abdul Rashid Para, said with the introduction of several new patient-friendly initiatives, the workload of the hospital has increased but the existing structure is proving insufficient. “We have no space for the admissions. In emergency care, the dearth of space forces us to adjust two-three patients on a single bed which is very unfortunate and injustice to the patients,” said the Medical Superintendent. He said that in the present building, there are no IPD facilities and temporary arrangement has been made for the gynecology patients.
“We also use one of the rooms at newly build casualty unit for surgical patients,” the MS said, adding that the hospital has no room available for the medicine and for specializations like orthopedic and dermatology there is no space available. “If we have to admit patients under these specializations there are no rooms available,” the MS said. He added that with the completion of the building, they would have enough ward space. “All the wards will be shifted to the new building and the old building will be used for other purposes. The hospital will soon get CT- Scan and facilities like Dialysis and District Intervention Centre,” the Medical Superintendent added. Housing Board officials admitted that there was a delay in the completion of the block but hold meagre funding responsible for it. “Lack of funds is the only reason behind the delay in completion of work”, the official said, adding “if the funding continues with the same pace the hospital building would take another year to complete”. – Daily Excelsior