In a significant move, Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, Saturday announced the conversion of Kashmir Nursing Home into a full-fledged Cancer Hospital, where medical and surgical treatment is already being provided by trained oncologists to the patients suffering from malignancies. The hospital will continue to be associated with the Government Medical College, Srinagar. The Chief Minister made this announcement today after visiting Kashmir Nursing Home where he interacted with a few cancer patients. During his extensive visit of healthcare institutions in the city, he inaugurated several wards and attendant sarais at SKIMS Soura and launched the construction of two additional floors on the 550-bedded upcoming Maternity and Paediatric Hospital at Bemina, being constructed at a cost of Rs.75 crore. Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister of State for Power, I&C and H&UDD, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Minister for Health & Social Welfare, Aisea Naqash, Legislators, Noor Mohammad, Khurshid Alam and Anjum Fazili were also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister recalled his stint as Minister for Urban Development in Syed Mir Qasim’s Cabinet in 1973, when he announced the transfer of land for establishment of SKIMS at Soura, which was otherwise earmarked for the rehabilitation of dislocated persons of Nallahmar Project. “I had crossed my limits as the Cabinet was yet to approve the transfer of land. However, the magnanimous Chief Minister ignored my ‘lapse’,” said an elated Chief Minister, who seemed visibly happy over the fact that SKIMS had grown into a premier institute with medical professionals comparable to the best in the country. The Chief Minister said in 1986 Arun Nehru suffered a cardiac arrest in Srinagar and was shifted to SKIMS, where our able doctors provided him the best treatment. Immediately upon his arrival at SKIMS, Mufti Sayeed inaugurated the new state-of-the-art ICUs, which have been established at a cost of Rs.6.47 crore. With this addition, the bed capacity of the ICUs has enhanced from 12 to 38. He also inaugurated the expanded casualty wards, which has been provided facility of 50 more beds. The Chief Minister also inaugurated new colorectal, haemodialysis and medical oncology and renal treatment wards at SKIMS. He also inaugurated two attendant sarais, constructed at a cost of Rs.11.33 crore, having capacity to accommodate 100 persons. While the haemodialysis ward will have facility of water treatment plant at a cost of Rs, 1.35 crore which will enable SKIMS to provide dialysis to 90 patients a day, a separate colorectal ward has been set up to facilitate the treatment of patients. The Chief Minister instructed Director SKIMS, Dr. Showkat Zargar, to increase the frequency of renal transplant surgeries at the institute so that the critically-ill and poor patients requiring transplants are spared the agony of endless wait, which compels them to seek expensive treatment outside the state. “I am happy that Union government has sanctioned a Cancer Centre for SKIMS at a cost of Rs.120 crore, which after its completion, will provide much-needed succour to thousands of patients suffering from cancer which has assumed epidemic proportions in the state,” he added. The SKIMS has already allotted the contract for construction of Cancer Ward, which is one among the five cancer institutes sanctioned by the Union government. To overcome shortage of healthcare in paediatric health facilities in Kashmir, Mufti Sayeed said the construction of two additional floors at under-construction Maternity and Paediatric Hospital at Bemina will reduce pressure on Lal Ded and G.B. Panth Hospitals. He tasked R&B Department to complete the first phase of the project by next year. Once complete, the five-storied hospital will have 308 beds for maternity and 247 beds for paediatric care. Besides, it will also have a STP, autopsy, blood bank, water storage-cum-reservoir, plant room and incinerator facilities. The Chief Minister also advocated establishment of more nursing colleges so that the expert human resource is deployed to these institutions to be able to deliver best-possible healthcare services to the people. Later, the Chief Minister visited the renovated and upgraded Casualty wards and Operation Theatre at Lal Ded Maternity Hospital, where he also interacted with the patients. In his address, Syed Altaf Bukhari, gave a brief overview about various healthcare institutions being constructed by the R&B Department across the state which include hospitals at Ganderbal, Anantnag, Kokernag, Kulgam and Sopore. Aisea Naqash, in her speech, listed various initiatives taken by the government in the health and medical education. She thanked the Chief Minister for according focused attention to the healthcare sector. Also present were Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner / Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Dr. M. K. Bhandari, Director, SKIMS, Dr. Showkat Zargar, Secretary to Chief Minister, M. H. Malik, Principal, GMC, Srinagar, Dr. Rafiq Pampori and Chief Engineer, R&B, Kashmir, Satish Razdan.
2015 Kashmir Despatch