JAMMU: Had the work on New Emergency Wing of Government Medical College (GMC) and renovation of Sir Col Chopra Nursing Home been completed before March 31 and Rs 55 crores not lapsed, over 300 more high level beds would have been ready to treat the severe COVID patients in Jammu.The project to enhance the high-level beds was initiated five years ago and now even after a series of deaths, the GMC administration remains unmoved, signaling alarm to panic-ridden people.
According to reliable sources, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dullo had set a final target on April 6, 2021 for completion of the project within a month. However, with the funds having been lapsed at the close of the financial year 2020-2021 the executive agency stopped the work.The question arises, why the funds were allowed to get lapsed in the first instance and what action was taken against the GMC administration for such a complacency and failure which led to the death of over 250 patients alone in the GMC within a fortnight.The GMC Jammu has only 110 high-level oxygen fitted beds as against the prevailing demand of double the strength. The remaining 850 beds in the so-called premier medical facility of the winter capital has oxygen availability that too most of the time with low pressure.The Level-1 COVID Hospital has been facing acute shortage of BiPAP or Ventilator supported beds, required for very critical patients on immediate basis and in absence of such life saving facility, the patients are mercilessly left to die in designated COVID wards meant for moderate patients.The GMC’s ICU has 22 beds, CCU 16 and HDU 30 beds while there are 31 Ventilator/BiPAP/high flow oxygen supported beds.The Level-2 care in the GMC Jammu has 317 beds, which comprise Ward 2 (62 beds), Ward 3 (43 beds), Ward 7 (62 beds), Ward 11 (58 beds), Ward 15 (62 beds), Spinal Ward (20 beds) and Neurosurgery Ward (10 beds),The COVID patients whose saturation drop between 80 and 90 are required to be put on high flow oxygen available in Level-2 care facilities. But if saturation of a COVID patient goes below 80, the patient needs to be put on high flow oxygen with BiPAP support.However, any COVID patient falling unconscious, suffering heart attack, brain stroke or ARDS (respiratory failure), immediately require endo-tracheal tube or ventilator support with high flow oxygen.Attendants of corona patients in GMC Jammu alleged that even patients with below 60 or even 45 saturation are being shifted in Level-2 or Level-3 care facilities and kept in the wards of the GMC or CD hospital or SSH as all the BiPAP/ventilators supported beds in Level-1 facilities remain 100 percent occupied.And, a sick COVID positive patient with oxygen saturation above 90 needs Level-3 care or even may be treated at home. The GMC Jammu has failed to create level one care facility to save precious lives.Under MCI guidelines, the GMC Jammu was allocated funds for the construction of a new emergency wing with 100 level-one beds. Due to the administrative failure, Rs 5 Crores meant for GMC emergency wing lapsed while Rs 50 Crores meant for renovation of Sir Col Chopra Nursing Home also remained unspent. Had the only government nursing home in the city been renovated, 200 high-level beds could have become available.
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