Day After Tremors Shook Valley, The Doctors Body Says, Kashmir Hospitals Unprepared for Disasters

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Day after earthquake measuring 7.7 on Richter scale rattled Kashmir, a doctor’s body Tuesday voiced serious concern over “lack of preparedness” of Kashmir hospitals to tackle disasters like earthquake.

President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), Dr Nisar ul Hassan said in a statement that hospitals in Kashmir are not prepared to deal with calamities.

“Kashmir because of unique geo-climatic conditions is one of the most hazards prone for earthquakes and hospitals provide immediate medical succour in the form of emergency medical care,” Dr Hassan said. “Valley hospitals lack treatment and surgical capacity to deal with mass casualties during earthquake.”

They lack resources like infrastructure, staff, space and supplies to manage sudden influx of an unexpected patient load during disaster, he said. “There are no designated disaster wards, no disaster stores and no concept of reserved staff in case of large scale disasters.”

Hospital disaster management committees which are essential for making a disaster plan for the hospital are visibly absent, he said. “There is neither disaster management training to hospital staff nor any periodic drill to test the response capabilities to disasters.”

“As of now disaster preparedness in healthcare of Kashmir is an orphan entity.”

Dr Hassan said hospitals in Kashmir as per experts cannot withstand high magnitude earthquake due to complete non compliance of structural elements of lifeline structures to building codes and other safety norms.

“People of valley will be without crucial life saving assets during disasters when they are needed most if the existing structures are not retrofitted to withstand tremors.”

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