Kashmir: District hospital Kulgam has no canteen to eat

by Farzana Nisar

In absence of a canteen, district hospital Kulgam leaves ailing and attendants hungry or to pay exorbitant prices.

Managing the heavy flow from the district and other nearby areas, the hospital lacks basic amenity of the canteen, causing doctors, staff members, patients and their attendants to suffer.

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Expressing concern, the patients and other staff members said that the dearth of canteen facility in causing inconvenience and at times affect the working as well.

“Despite being a district hospital there is no canteen, we have to go outside the hospital premises to buy eatables. The hotel owners sell food on high rates, one cup of tea costs 15 to 20 rupees. And there is no guarantee whether the food is safe or not”, said Fayaz Ahmad, an attendant and adds that “the  problem is even worse at night as most of the establishments are often closed.”

Men apart, the rising concern is of the women when they have to come out in the night.

“Women face a lot of problems during late hours. I am admitted here for last three days and my daughter had to move outside of the hospital to even get water for me”, said Shameema, a patient. “The administration does not bother about the lack of such a basic requirement”, she added.

Though, patients say the infrastructure is already in place but has never been made functional. “Some years before the canteen used to function from a temporary teen shed, which was demolished later on. Since then there has been no canteen in the hospital. The infrastructure for the new canteen was built but I never saw it working”, said Manzoor Ahmad, another attendant.

Doctors and other staff members also expressed resentment over the non-availability of hospital canteen. “I am working here for more than three years and I never saw any canteen here. The canteen is of utmost requirement, and its unavailability  causes a lot of inconvenience to patients as well as staff members “, said Dr. Sarfaraz.”We have to move outside of the hospital to have food, and that sometimes causes problems to patients also”, he added.

“When we are on night duties, we have to prepare tea and food ourselves, and it causes wastage of time. The administration should definitely start a canteen so that patients and staff members do not suffer”, said a staff nurse wishing anonymity.

When contacted Chief Medical officer (CMO) Kulgam, Mohammad Shafi Darzi, he said,”We have already started the process of starting a canteen and that will be in place very soon”.



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