All is not well in Govt Psychiatric Hospital

Srinagar May 27 Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission SHRC has castigated the State Government over poor patient care and lack of basic amenities at the Valleys sole Government Psychiatric Hospital and recommended immediate measures to improve its functioning
The Commission has sent a comprehensive report to the Government of India regarding the messy state of affairs in the hospital and has also underscored the need for undertaking research over drastic increase in mental diseases in the Valley and measures for treatment
After conducting an onthespot assessment of the Government Psychiatric Hospital at Kathidarwaza in Old City here the Commission detected loopholes in its functioning
In his ninepage report the SHRC member Rafiq Fida said that the Commission had received a telephonic message regarding pathetic condition of patients and lack of basic amenities in the hospital
The Commission took cognizance of the complaint and had issued notices to Commissioner Secretary Government Health and Medical Education Director Health Services Superintendent of the Hospital asking them to submit report regarding the allegations
After receiving the responses the Commission decided to study the living conditions of the inmates and make subsequent recommendations
The report states that on March 29 2012 the Commissions inspection team headed by member Rafiq Fida and comprising secretary Tariq Ahmad and SSP SHRC Bashir Ahmad Yatoo made onthespot assessment of the hospital
It was observed during the inspection that the hospital authorities had made appreciable preparation to impress the Commission that all is well New uniforms were provided to the patients as well as staff The bedding and blankets were purchased quite recently and were used for the first time It seemed that the hospital was cleaned for the first time only for the purpose of inspection It was observed that the after long period the patients were asked to shave and take bath the report states
The documents and correspondences placed before the Commission reveals inaction on part of the Principal Medical College to address grievances of the hospital in regard to supply of medicine The hospital had to surrender Rs 450 lakhs for nonexecution of supplies medicine from the supplier in 200112012 The net result of the negligence of the Principal Medical College is suffering of the patients and endangering their lives The Administration has cleverly taken advantage of their ailment the report states
The Commission states that during inspection of the hospital building much attention was paid to the office room of Medical Superintendent and labs and lakhs of rupees were spent on it
While as the kitchen and the wards have lost sight of renovation and upgradation The budget provided for infrastructure has not been judiciously utilized so far as patient care is concerned it states
The Commission further observed that the patients are not being provided adequate diet It states that the patients are provided tea and bread in morning besides dal vegetables and rice as daily diet
It would be very much pertinent to say that in Jammu patients in the same hospital are being provided 250 grams milk six slices one each boiled egg in breakfast lunch and dinner besides five chapattis rice vegetables dal and special diet on religious festivals The discriminative treatment to same set and category of patients is not understandable that too in one State The law of the land does not permit discrimination the report states
The Commission stated that the Government has constructed stateoftheart Government Psychiatry Hospital at Jammu with latest facilities on the pattern of PGI
Such hospital was required in the Valley where the increase of patients indoor as well as outdoor has witnessed manifold increase because of turmoil during the last more than 20 years No serious efforts have been made by the authorities in the Valley to impress upon the Government to meet the growing demand of hospital with all modern facilities to cater to huge rush of patients the Commission observed
The SHRC member Rafiq Fida said a copy of the Commissions report on the hospitals condition has been forwarded to Ministry of Health Government of India for information and necessary action
The Commission has recommended to the Government to improve medicare and basic facilities including on time supply of medicine establishment of rehabilitation cum counseling centre and proper food to patients in the hospital
The member states that there is dire need to train doctors of all the districts in the Valley in respect of the Psychiatric diseases to avoid rush to the Psychiatric hospital and on time treatment of the disease
For this purpose experts could be invited from National Institute of Medical Health Bangalore and other reputed institutions in the Country for better mental treatment healthcare
It is very high time to rise to the occasion and take in hand serious efforts for medical care to the mentally challenged persons The Government is gracious enough to provide relief and rehabilitation to the militancy affected persons but militancy affected mentally challenged persons are being denied medical facility the report states
The Commission said that the Government Psychiatric hospital here has presently 80 indoor patients and on an average daily 200 patients visit its outdoor wing According to figures available and compared this is a highest number in the Country It is recommended that Institute for research of the disease and its treatment be established on the pattern of Bangalore institute in Kashmir province
The Commission recommends that the present accommodation of the hospital could be utilized for Rehabilation centre for the treated patients
Such type of patients carry stigma in social life Their kith and kin refuse to own them though they stand cured and needs engagement Under these circumstances establishment of fullfledged rehabilitation centre is need of the hour as education and vocational activities there could help the patients to earn their livelihood
The Commission also recommended posting responsive committed and honest staff to the hospital

Date : 28 May, 2012
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