Kashmir’s premier healthcare institute SKIMS lack proper toilet facilities


Fazil Buchh/ Aarif Shah

The premier healthcare institute of state, Sher-e-Kashmir Institution of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), which in news these days for removal of its director unceremoniously and suspension of three senior most faculty members has another crisis of toilet facilities.

Managing huge rush of patients accompanied by attendants, the institute lacks proper public toilet facility, resulting in inconvenience for attendants and patients as well. The problem is severe of patients in out patient department.

As we see, there are fewer washrooms inside wards. Moreover, not a single washroom is present outside wards in the premises compelling attendants to attend the call of nature in open air outside or within the institute.

“There is a huge rush of patients and attendants in surgical ward. Just 3-4 washrooms for around 80 people present in the ward is very little and that too during these chilling winters,” said Syed Shakir Geelani, an attendant with his sister in the hospital for last four days.

File image of SKIMS Soura

As doctors come for routine round, attendants have to leave the wards and wait outside. During this time they have no place where they could attend the call of nature. “We don’t have any other option other than to urinate in open as we have to remain outside from around 10 am to 2 pm everyday during round-time of doctors,” said Javed Ahmed, an attendant from Kupwara.

“Male attendants manage to attend nature’s call somehow but where would a female attendant go?” he questioned further. He also complained about the poor sanitation of toilets present inside the emergency ward.

Faculty in-charge for Maternity wing (Gynaecology and Obstetrics), Dr. Haroon Rashid, who is deputy medical superintendent of SKIMS on Sundays, while speaking to Kashmir Life agreed that it is a matter of serious concern.”We are looking forward to dislocate parking so as to construct some public toilets there,” he stated.

“There is a functional public toilet complex on the backside of the hospital,”
he added.

The small complex was found to contain only 8 washrooms, four for each gender plus certain urinals which were found in very untidy condition. It is constructed and organised by Sulabh International, a social service organisation.

” We charge Rs 5 per visit. There is no toilet facility outside apart from this in whole SKIMS and people mostly come from the front gate of the hospital. So for majority of people visiting SKIMS, it is quite far a place to urinate. Further this is not up to par as the flow of people to the hospital is very high.” said a worker in this complex.

The outside area of SKIMS stinks, says a local as people urinate in absence of proper facility.


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