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Who is responsible: 108 Service, MC Shimla or HP Govt?

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Who is responsible

Who is responsible

An old woman slips on ice, dies due to delay as 108-ambulance service call-centre denies service, while taxi driver charges four times the usual fee to carry the dead body.

Honourable Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh recently claimed that his recently formed government would ensure Sushaasan (good governance) with welfare of all. He even made an announcement regarding an increase of Rs. 50 in social security pension. But the question is that what the hell the senior citizens would do with the social security pension when their life is not secure in the state. A recent accident resulting in death of an old lady has brought shame to the authorities bringing their inaction and ignorant attitude to the limelight.

Yesterday, an old lady, aged about 75 years was on her way home when she slipped on the hard frozen ice (the hardened snow) while getting down a set of staircases near Machhli wali kotthi, Jakhoo area. She slipped so badly that she got a serious injury on her head with a continuous stream of blood oozing out of the wound. Some onlookers called up 108 (An emergency Ambulance service) and requested them to reach on the spot and enable the seriously injured lady to reach the hospital.

But, to their surprise, the executives of Ambulance service call-centre denied providing any service to the injured lady stating that all the ambulances were struck in snow at Kamla Nehru Hospital and were so unable to reach the spot and attend the injured. Disappointed by the reply they got from the so-called ‘Emergency Ambulance Service’ and without wasting any more time, the people attending the injured lady hired a taxi and took the old lady to IGMC, Shimla.

Attending the emergency case, the doctors reported that the old lady was ‘Brought Dead’ to the hospital. The scene doesn’t end here. Carrying the dead body back to her home was not at all an easy endeavor. The people attending her were unable to secure a single ambulance to transfer the dead body to her home. Even the Red Cross Society was unable to provide an ambulance/mortuary van to carry the dead body. The taxi drivers too were ignorant but finally taking note of the situation and his chance or earning huge profit, a TATA Sumo driver agreed to carry the dead body to her home charging Rs. 1,000 which is four times the normal taxi fare.

With such type of incidents taking place in our society, can the safety of senior citizens be guaranteed? Honourable CM sir, it no more interest the common man that by what name the 108 Ambulance service is called, as far as it provides services to them in the time of urgent need.

First and foremost I would like to applaud the role of our digital media who have immense time for debating on the issues which would never produce any result, but have no time to talk about the inefficiency of our state administration.

Whom do you hold responsible for this death or may I call it a murder?
The HP State Government which is so very cautious of changing the name of 108 Ambulance service from ‘Atal Swasthya Sewa’ to ‘National Health Mission Service’ rather than ensuring that these ambulances do actually provide the services and fulfill the purpose they are meant for.

The Municipal Corporation Shimla which always remembers collecting taxes from the people in the name of services which are never provided to the people. (The Honourable Mayor never responds to the calls made to his official mobile number). Gross negligence in service can be made out from the fact that even after 10 days of snowfall, MC Shimla was unable to remove frozen ice from The Mall Road (in front of Hotel Willow Banks), leave aside the frozen ice at other places. Are they not responsible for this death as they were unable to clear snow from KNH, Shimla making the ambulances immobile when this work comes under their ambit?

The 108 Ambulance service for not ensuring the mobilization of their ambulances to attend to emergency situations.
Or finally We, the responsible citizen of Himachal Pradesh & specifically Shimla, for voting such an administration to power which is unable to fulfill the basic needs of the common man.

The final call is to be taken by you all. I am not writing this article to sensationalize the issue or hold the government responsible for it, but to make you all aware that it is you who can bring about a change. It is you who can raise your voice. I hope the govt. which turns dumb to the feeble and weak demands of the aged can no longer ignore the voice of the youth as we are educated, we know are rights and grab them if they are not provided to us by default.

Don’t sleep anymore, it’s time to rise and make our voices heard, time to Join the new social awakening, time to contribute your part. Time to Join Himachal Watcher and be the change you want to see.

Vishal Sharma is a dedicated member at HW Community. He is currently working with the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India. A B.Tech & MBA, born & brought up in Shimla, Vishal is a Himachali at heart. Serving the society in whichever way possible is his passion. He wishes to set-up an NGO to provide free education to deprived children.

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No Dialysis at Tanda Medical College; No Nephrologist, Machine Dysfunctional, Patients from Five Districts Left in Lurch

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Tanda Medical college dialysis facility

Kangra: Amid regular press statements of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur led Himachal Pradesh Government over its consistent efforts to improve the state’s health infrastructure, media reports have been highlighting facts contrary to these statements.

According to a report published in Hindi daily, Covid-19 patients with kidney-related medical conditions from Hamirpur, Mandi, Una, Kangra and Chamba are left in the lurch. The report said that these patients have no nearby options as none of the hospitals in the above mentioned five districts have dialysis facility for Covid patients. These patients are either referred to IGMC, Shimla, or PGI, Chandigarh. Also, the report says, the multi-specialty Hospital Tanda Medical College does not offer dialysis to kidney patients. Dharamshala hospital is unable to offer dialysis to Covid positive kidney patients as it lacks ventilator support.

The report cited a reference of a local who alleged that his mother, who was on dialysis, was admitted to a hospital in Nurpur. She was referred to Tanda Medical College where she tested positive. He said the hospital told him that they don’t offer dialysis facility. He was told that dialysis is performed at Dharamshala. But the hospital in Dharamshala lacked ventilator support for covid patients. The mother died while the son tried to arrange dialysis outside the state. The son said his mother would have survived if she could receive timely dialysis.

Dr. Bhanu Awasthi, the principal of the College, told the daily that Tanda Medical College does not have a Nephrologist and the available dialysis machine is not functional. The hospital has been requesting the government to fill the vacant post, he said. G.D Gupta, CMO Kangra, confirmed that patients in the district have died as they could not receive dialysis treatment because the hospitals in the district don’t have dialysis facilities for COVID patients.

Another report published in an English daily highlight the plight of cancer patients who are deprived of their chemotherapy session, posing threat to their lives.

The report says that various hospitals in the state were converted into Covid-19 treatment centres, and patients suffering from other severe illnesses were not receiving treatment in the districts of the lower Himachal Pradesh. Cancer patients in Kangra have alleged that they are not receiving treatment at Tanda Medical College which they fear could be life-threatening.
The report said Tanda Medical College is the only hospital with a facility for cancer treatment in the lower Himachal which was converted into a Covid hospital. The super-speciality wing of the hospital which caters to cancer, cardio and neuro patients has remained closed since last month. This is causing a delay in the completion of chemotherapy sessions.

Dr Bhanu Awasthi told  the daily that the treatment was suspended temporarily due to a surge in Covid cases. He said that patients who require immediate chemotherapy can go to Indira Gandhi Medical College. He said the cases in Kangra district were coming down and if the situation improves, they will be able to open the super specialty wing soon.

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World’s Highest Motorable Village Achieves 100% Covid Vaccination

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Image Ccredit: Hindustan Times

Lahaul-Spiti: Komic village, known to be the world’s highest motorable village, in Lahaul-Spiti has vaccinated all of its eligible population.  The village is located at an elevation of 15,000 feet and has a population of 130 people as per 2011 census data.

According to officials, all people in the 18-44 age groups have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. People falling under 60+ and 45+ categories were vaccinated with both the doses of Covishield. Only children below the age of 18 were not vaccinated. 

“100 per cent vaccination has been achieved in Komic village with people over 45 years age group vaccinated with both doses,” SDM Gian Sagar Negi told news agency ANI.

Further, all people above 45 years in age have been administered the first dose of the Covid vaccine in Kaza, the headquarter of Spiti Valley. All people above 65-years  have received  both doses. 

“Due to the problems related to internet connectivity in the valley, the state government had allowed offline registration for vaccination. Now, 80% of the registration for vaccination is being carried out offline. Vaccination slots are being booked with help of a lottery,” Gian Sagar Negi added.

Despite tough terrain and weather conditions of  the valley, the health authorities have taken a lead in vaccination.

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Patients Suffer as IGMC – Shimla City’s Only Hospital With Ventilator Beds-Runs Out of Capacity

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IGMC Shimla Ventilator beds
Image Credit: The Statesman

Shimla-  The  Indira Gandhi Medical College & Hospital, Shimla, has maxed out of beds with ventilator support, a report published in a Hindi daily said.  The IGMC is the only hospital in the city with a facility of ventilator beds. The hospital has a total of 37 ventilator beds, all of which were occupied. Patients from other COVID-19 hospitals are referred to the IGMC only after the hospital confirms the availability of ventilator beds. The report said that this shortage of ventilator beds is giving a hard time to critically ill Covid-19 patients. Pertinent to mention that critical patients from across the state are referred to the IGMC. 

Earlier, a report had said that the two major Covid hospitals of Shimla – IGMC and DDU-were packed to their full capacity and patients were denied admissions. This raises questions over the state government’s claims that it’s prepared to tackle the third wave of the pandemic. 

Since the past two days, families of Covid-19 patients had been struggling to find ventilator beds in Shimla, the report said. Hospitals like Deendyal Upadhyay have been asked not to refer any serious Covid patient to the IGMC as all the ventilator beds were already occupied. Usually, when a critical Covid-19 patient needs ventilator support, the hospital where the patient is admitted makes a call to IGMC to inquire for beds and to refer the patient.

“Ventilator beds can only be made available when the patient on ventilator support gets discharged, or when the patient succumbs to the infection. Because such patients cannot be shifted or removed from ventilator support,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, Officer-in-charge Central Store, IGMC, told the daily.

The State Government had notified the Indra Gandhi Medical College, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Ayurvedic Hospital Chhota Shimla, and Walker Hospital as Covid-19 hospitals. But, out of these, only IGMC has the facility of ventilator beds. The DDU has ventilators but they are not operational since the hospital has only one anaesthetist. All the other three hospitals don’t have enough staff to to operate ventilators, the report said. Severe cases from these hospitals are referred to the IGMC only. 

Efforts to increase the ventilator bed capacity in IGMC were being made, Dr. Rahul Gupta told the daily. 

 

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