Snow-covered roads affect movement
of patients to hospitals across Kashmir
Srinagar, Jan 5: Patients across Kashmir faced extreme difficulties in
reaching healthcare facilities today as incessant snowfall kept roads to hos-
pitals inaccessible. Many health administrators complained of slow pace of snow clearance.
“We had many patients who were brought to hospital on cots (charpoys).
We also sent ambulances to some patients,” a doctor working in Shopian said.
CMO Kupwara Dr Kounsar Amin said that they had ensured that adequate staff was
stationed at the hospital but “the footfall (of patients) has
reduced significantly”. She said that many of the patients
had reached the hospital using ambulances running under
CMO Kulgam, Dr Fazil Kotchak, said that the hospital
had sought and received help of the administration in fer-
rying emergency cases to the hospital. “We have put chains
over the tyres of two of our ambulances, and today these
were used continuously. The admin helped in clearing the
roads wherever there was difficulty,” he said.
In Bandipora district, the administration said that the
staff had been stationed at the hospital to reduce the need
of referral. “The road from here to Srinagar is difficult
and snowfall is making it difficult to send patients,” an
Greater Kashmir received calls from many distressed
families who were unable to make it to hospitals.
The main hospitals in Srinagar too had difficulty in
access. At Chest Disease Hospital, which is located on a
hilltop, vehicles were unable to reach.
The patients said that the SMHS Hospital, the Bone and
Joint Hospital, the SKIMS Medical College Hospital and
other health facilities, had partly cleared roads making
movement of vehicles difficult. “For those, who had no
vehicle of their own, it was not possible to reach hospital
today,” a caller told Greater Kashmir.
An attendant who was travelling from Sopore to Sri-
nagar, said that it took three hours for them to reach Lal
Ded Hospital. “My sister was in labour but we were in an
ambulance and it took over three hours for us to reach her
as the highway had not been cleared,” he said.
Meanwhile, some doctors urged the patients to call their
nearest health center for assistance in case of an emergen-
cy. “They should not carry patients on shoulders as it can
lead to deterioration of the condition,” a senior doctor said.