Healthy Trend

Incomplete SKIMS Maternity Hospital. (Photo: Tabish Khan)

A state of the art 100 bedded private hospital coming up in Srinagar is expected to bring some relief to the ailing over burdened health sector. Haroon Mirani reports

In what could provide a big relief to people of Kashmir, a state of art hospital with infrastructure rivalling super specialty SKIMS is to become operational in Srinagar soon.

The Florence Multispecialty Centre will be largest of its kind in private sector.  Constructed at Chanapora in Srinagar outskirts, the 100 bedded hospital spread over two hectares of land is undergoing finishing touches with the first phase expected to open in September.

“This is only the first phase as we have plans to extend its capacity to 500 beds” says Muzaffar Hussain, member of the managing committee for the hospital.

Far from the stenchy government hospitals Florence offers a beautiful and spacious building in glass and concrete. It has been constructed by one of the top Hospital building architects of India, who has also designed hospitals for Fortis group.

The hospital pitted to be the most modern hospital in the state will be a commercial enterprise with a portion for charity. “We have kept 20 beds reserved for the poor patients who can’t afford the treatment” said Hussain.

He adds poor people will be a priority for the hospital. “The poor will be charged a minimal fee like government OPD rates” said Hussain. “Others will be charged to generate revenue for running of the hospital.”

On some days the hospital will offer free surgeries to poor patients, he adds.

With its infrastructure as its unique selling point, the hospital can rival the top state hospitals.

Idea of construction

The idea for constructing the top line hospital was conceived in 1990’s but the construction started in 2006. “We have seen many cases, even our relatives dying for want of treatment at that critical time which is called golden hour” said Hussain. “Our health sector has mostly failed to save people on that juncture and we continue to lose precious lives.”

With extensive facilities the hospital hopes to focus on that critical time. It also promises to provide most of the health care facilities for which people currently are forced to go to New Delhi and other places.

“In New Delhi 30 per cent of the hospital occupancy is of Kashmiris,” said a doctor at the hospital. “Imagine their conditions, how they suffer in that intolerable heat and alien atmosphere all because Kashmir doesn’t have a sound health care system. We want to help these people.”

Once fully functional, the hospital is expected to decrease the load of SMHS and SKIMS, who are burdened with extra patients.
The managing body of the hospital consist of 23 people headed by a prominent businessman Altaf Khan. The two more board of directors include Raja Nayeem and Muzaffar Hussain.

Largest of its kind

The 100 bed hospital will not only by the largest in private sector but also the only private tertiary care hospital in the state.

“Our infrastructure has no match in state as well as private sector” said Hussain.

It is already at par with SMHS hospital in infrastructure. With the addition of Nero surgical and cardio thoracic department it will become equal to SKIMS. Currently the hospital has dozens of other full fledged departments like General Surgery, Laproscopic Surgery, Cardiology, Gastro Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Dental, ENT, Nephrology, Neurology, Derma, Psychology and others.

The hospital will have 24 hour emergency, labour room, theatre section, diagnostic and imaging, doctor availability and super specialty surgery.

In many aspects Florence has already outdone leading hospitals of Kashmir. The hospital has three ventilators while as SKIMS has just one. It has Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as well as High Dependency Unit (HDU), Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
It is also equipped with Modular Operation Theatre, again the first of its kind in the state. “Modular OT is a sort of controlled atmosphere chamber where continuous filtration of air takes places to keep it infection free,” said a doctor. “It has anti-infectant coating on the walls besides other things which reduces the risk of infection to a negligible level.” No other hospital nor SKIMS or SMHS has such a facility.

Most of the equipment for the hospital has been imported from Germany and USA. “Again we have the first Doppler diagnostic machine and Drager anaesthesia machine of highest quality in the hospital,” said the doctor. Imported ECG and TNT analysers are also being fitted in the hospital.

Cancer treatment will be one of the focus areas of the hospital. “Over the years the rate of cancer particularly stomach cancer has increased in Kashmir,” said the doctor. “Here we will be doing all cancer surgeries besides advanced laparoscopic procedures.”

The hospital has reached an understanding with Gangaram Hospital New Delhi for exchange of expertise and knowledge.

“For example we don’t have any MCH qualified surgical gastro-entrologist or a qualified Oncologist,” said the doctor. “We will get experts from outside who will train our doctors. We will have workshops and other programmes for continuous upgradation of knowledge.”

While most of the staff for the hospital will be local, some trained people will come from outside including trained ICU nurses, which are not locally available.

With around 20 departments the hospital will have a 200 plus staff. “We will have at least 60 in house doctors and 150 paramedics” said the doctor. “Besides we will be receiving 100 plus visiting doctors regularly.”

The project, with cost running in crores is entirely funded by Kashmiris with no outside help.

“Our priority is to build a hospital of highest quality and it will cater to need of quantity too” said Hussain. “Money is never a problem as there are people who are always ready to help for this noble cause.”


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