SRINAGAR: The Director, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr A G Ahangar Tuesday said that the institute has kept some provisions of the out-patient departments (OPDs) open for patients who require physical examination and consultation.
The statement is significant for people who are unhappy with the decision of SKIMS to provide virtual OPD services, because many of the patients still don’t have access to smartphones or don’t know to use them.
Pertinently, the institute had closed its OPD services after the second wave of COVID-19 witnessed a surge in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Director SKIMS & Ex-Officio Secretary to Government, Dr. A. G. Ahangar in a chat with news agency Kashmir News Trust said that the bed capacity of the institute has been almost doubled during his tenure.
“SKIMS is not only healthcare institute, it’s a deemed medical university besides having level-3 tertiary care centres for any illness. When it was established almost 38 years ago, it had only 250 beds. But in my four-and-a-half years tenure, I enhanced its bed capacity from 650 beds in 2016 to 1250 beds today, meaning twice the number of beds without anybody realizing it,” he said.
About COVID-19, Dr Ahangar said that his entire team is on toes from day one, to test people and detect the level of Covid infection pandemic and other diseases. “The team consists senior professors, junior and senior resident doctors, nurses, paramedics. It includes monitoring of everything, from delivery to retain, steroids and oxygen concentrators. Even advisory committees, framed from day one, review the situation on a weekly basis.”
“Like the previous year, we had to halt the OPDs because the wave was much uglier. But at the same time, we have a dedicated number of virtual clinics, teleclinics for mitigating the sufferings of people. Even, we have kept some provisions of OPDs available for patients physically, as we have seen dip in the cases. There will be ease of restrictions too with the further dip in new cases,” Dr Ahangar said.
“There were pandemics in the past too like Ebola, Smallpox. Until people got vaccinated, these claimed millions of lives. Vaccination is the need of the hour. If we have to survive, we have to get vaccinated. This is the only solution to fight novel Coronavirus. It’s up to us. We have to choose between a vaccine and a ventilator,” he told KNT.
He added, “I dream for this institution to get on to as many other sub-specialties as well as super-specialties so that we are second to none in the world. In that direction, we have our PET scan, CT scan, MRIs with and many other projects like Organ Transplant Centre, dream project of new Neuro Sciences and Cardiac Sciences Centres, new emergency block and emergency OPD services including Trauma Centre.”
“We have sent a proposal to government for certain projects which are under active consideration. For short-run (2025) and long-term (2030), there are various projects in the pipeline, which will be productive for patient care,” he informed. (KNT)