Overcrowded SMGS Hospital – patients’ nightmare

The Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital is one of Jammu's oldest but it also has the dubious distinction of being one of the most overcrowded ones in the state.

Written by Ishfaq Naseem | Jammu | Published: February 23, 2009 3:53:53 pm

The man who signed the treaty of accession,Maharaja Hari Singh,laid the foundation of a hospital in Jammu and Kashmir in 1940. But instead of naming it after him,he christened it on his great-grandfather’s name,as Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) Hospital. That makes this hospital one of the oldest ones,but it also has the dubious distinction of being one of the most overcrowded in the state.

Its wards are overcrowded and when the doctors refuse admission to patients,they have no choice but to get admitted in private hospitals.

On an average 500 patients attend the different Out Patient Departments (OPDs). As per official records,the hospital also receives 80-100 indoor patients on daily basis. On October 20,doctors at the SMGS hospital refused admission to Shabnam Parveen of Janipur area of Jammu. When she was taken back home by her husband,she developed labour pains within half an hour. On her visit again to the hospital,she developed complications and when she was admitted the doctors told her husband that,‘they couldn’t save the female baby.’

“It was a cold blooded murder. The female baby died as the doctors refused admission to my wife even when she had earlier undergone a surgery” said Farooq Ahmed,Shabnam’s husband.

State government’s plan to thin it out from the crowd of people by shifting the other departments of ENT and dermatology from here has become the victim of bureaucratic delay.

“Government had a proposal to convert the hospital into the exclusive mother and child care hospital,by shifting both the dermatology and ENT departments from here to the Government Medical College (GMC). In fact land was also identified at the GMC where the dermatology and ENT departments were to be shifted. The idea was to acquire the land in the periphery of the hospital so that more wards could be opened to accommodate the women” a former Medical Superintendent of the hospital said.

“Since this is a tertiary care hospital,we receive admissions from all the parts of Jammu,that makes it most crowded,he added.

However the Deputy Medical Superintendent of the hospital,Dr Satish Sharma,said,“Government has plans to set up a separate mother and child care hospital. The skin and ENT departments will be shifted only after we find an alternate facility.”

Officials further add that in order to lessen the load on the hospital,government should upgrade the hospitals at the district and sub district levels with the gynaecological and paediatric facilities.

“We also receive normal deliveries at the hospital. We need to set right the referral system in Jammu and the doctors at the district and the sub district hospital who refer the patients to SMGS should give a reason for so,said,a doctor,wishing not to be quoted.

However,apart from an annual function during which the statue of Maharaja Gulab Singh hospital is garlanded,this hospital has seldom received the government attention.

“It is seriously crippled with the staff shortage. There is a staff shortage of 40 per cent in the hospital as per the medical norms” sources said.

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