Unexplained Halt In Testing Facilities In SKIMS

SRINAGAR:  The premier health institution, the SKIMS is facing some unexplained problems that have led to the halt in basic diagnostic investigations in the premier facility. Various patients who contacted Kashmir Life alleged the key Cancer Marker test, AFP, CEA, CA125, HCG, CA19.9, Iron and TORCH profile are not taking place in the institute’s multiple diagnostic facilities.

“I am not saying that I want to have it free,” one attendant, whose father was asked to undergo a series of tests including a cancer marker test. “My problem is that I am going to open market and once the SKIMS resumes these tests, I have will have to get my father and undergo all these tests afresh because doctors take SKIMS tests more credible.”

A medical professional checks the body temperature for COVID 19 testing in Srinagar, 07 May 2020. A few hundred Kashmiris, who were stranded in different parts of India and returned to Srinagar, KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Patients are supposed to pay a very minimal cost for these tests which are quite expensive in the market. In certain cases, the credibility of private testing facilities has remained questionable.

The SKIMS has a robust diagnostic facility. Normally, patients coming from distant periphery would report to the facilities around morning, offer their samples and by afternoon they were able to consult the doctors. By 4 pm, they would be driving home. Now they wither stay in Srinagar or come again to collect the test results.

The abrupt halt in investigations has been there since early November. In certain cases, the half in investigations came as early as in the middle of October.

Dr Farooq A Jan, the medical superintendent of SKIMS did not pick the phone. His colleague, Dr Itoo sought the list of the investigations that patients claim are not taking place in the hospital right now. Kashmir Life sent the list of the investigations currently not taking place but there has not been any response so far. We will update this report as and when the SKIMS authorities respond.

Later he told Kashmir Life he will sort it out.

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