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Patients at Valley's Psychiatric Hospital left to fend for themselves
9/4/2018 10:02:11 PM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Sept 4: Amid sharp rise in stress-related disorders, the patients admitted at Kashmir Valley's sole Government Psychiatric Hospital in Srinagar are receiving below par treatment and are reportedly being neglected by families and the hospital authorities too.
The hospital claims it is a healing place for those who are not mentally fit, but once patients are admitted there, they are left to fend for themselves.
Presently, the Psychiatric Hospital has a bed strength of 150 beds. Sources said no attention has been given towards this hospital by the government. The hospital is supposed to receive 24-hour power supply; however, there are frequent power cuts, owing to which the hospital work suffers and machines remain non-functional.
Sources said the problem aggravates during the winters when electricity supply to this hospital often remains off for weeks together.
In the past five years, rarely any legislator has visited this hospital. "Once a politician visited this hospital in the evening hours to enquire about the health of his close relative. He was without security and told no one that his relative was admitted here because of the social stigma attached with mental disorders," said an official. He said that many patients admitted in the hospital have been abandoned by their families. "These are only a few patients for whom their families come to see them here. Rest have been neglected," the official said.
The J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) had castigated the government several times over poor patient care and lack of basic amenities at the hospital.
"Nothing such has been done in this regard. The patients are not given healthy breakfast," sources said, adding that the hospital lacks rehabilitation centre for patients.
"A full-fledged rehabilitation centre was required as education and vocational activities there could help the patients to earn their livelihood," said sources.
"Such type of patients carry stigma in social life. Their kin refuse to own them though they stand cured and need engagement. So the hospital needs to have a rehabilitation centre for such patients," sources said.
Principal Government Medical College Srinagar was not available for comment.
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