Come winter and hospitals in Kashmir witness a surge in the number of patients who come with all types of respiratory ailments and complications.
Though most of these patients are treated at the peripheries and other private healthcare facilities in most parts of the state, still one hospital which has to bear with this seasonal crisis is the chest diseases hospital in Srinagar.
The patient load almost doubles in the hospital during the winters and with the increased patient load the shortcomings of the hospital too come in the limelight.
Though respiratory ailments have become a routine in a place like Kashmir where the viral and bacterial activity increases due to the seasonal change, however, the exposure of people, mostly young and the old, to cold conditions is considered as a major contributor to the increased number of patients with respiratory ailments.
The manifold increase in the number of patients during winter raises many questions. Questions that pertain to the facilities those are available in Kashmir both in the healthcare and otherwise.
The sudden increase in respiratory infections can well be attributed to the fact that Kashmir is way behind in providing any facilities to the local population during winters. The state lacks any mechanism which can provide healthy heating facilities to the people to stay warm and avoid the ailments that are associated with cold weather conditions
The most efficient way of keeping the people warm was electricity but the people especially in Kashmir region are subjected to worse curtailment schedules that makes it virtually impossible for the people to be dependent on it for their heating requirements.
The other options could have helped is the use of fire places, however, with the advent of time and people adapting to a much modern lifestyle, the use of such facilities too has faded off. The people have been left to be dependent of use of LPG heaters that has in-fact increased the health related issues and especially the chest related ailments.
In such a given scenario the onus of helping out the people shifts to the government which should have at least provided the best healthcare facilities for the people especially during winters.
However, the state government has been working and acting so callously that the chest diseases sector has been put on the back burner. The only hospital that functions as the chest disease hospital in Srinagar is located in a dilapidated building located on a hillock.
The patients coming here for treatment have to climb stairs and slopes to visit a doctor. Patients suffering from chest diseases and breathing problem find it difficult to climb the hillock as it aggravates their suffering.
The shortage of wheelchairs adds to their woes. In case a wheel chair is available it has to be lifted manually to carry the patient as no ramp facilities have been provided in the hospital.
News reports that have appeared in various news organizations have also pointed out that the doctors in the hospital have to attend patients under candle light. The crisis is so deep rooted that patients have to bear the winter chill as no heating facilities are in place at the hospital.