JAMMU: More than 2,500 people lost their lives in road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir in the past three years but till date the majority of hilly districts and other accident prone areas are awaiting the much hyped state-of- the- art trauma centres to provide timely medical care before wastage of ‘golden’ hour to the needy patients.
In medical parlance it is said if a trauma patient is rushed to a trauma centre during golden hour chances of his/her survival increases.
But in case of accident victims in Jammu and Kashmir the golden hour is often wasted in transit.
In the absence of medical health care facilities, accident victims are rushed to Jammu or Srinagar and at least 5-6 hours are wasted before starting their treatment.
Keeping these hardships in mind the Centre had approved an ambitious project of setting up trauma centres to provide timely medical help to accident victims along the National Highway.
More than one decade has passed but these centres are yet to come to the rescue of accident victims.
The most significant and glaring shortfall in these trauma centre hospitals has been placement of manpower and equipping these centres with bare minimum infrastructure to operate and deal with nature of critical injuries.
Absence of neuro-surgeons or even main line surgeons along with necessary nursing care staff and fully functional operation theatre is costing lives of many accident victims but the successive State governments have failed to address the issue and failed to come to the rescue of seriously injured passengers.
Local residents in these hilly districts allege that despite receiving liberal funding over the years, the State government has so far failed to develop these trauma centres across different district headquarters.
In the absence of these trauma centres the road accident victims continue to face trauma of reaching nearest hospitals to receive best medical care in Jammu and Kashmir.
These trauma centres were supposed to be made operational in Ramban and Banihal along the 300 km long National Highway to save precious lives but poor planning and misplaced priorities have resulted in long delays. Two other centres were sanctioned for Udhampur and Mahanpur. The buildings in these two places have been completed but in the absence of adequate staff the local authorities are struggling to cope up with the rush of patients. Trauma centre at Pattan in Kashmir met the same fate. It is yet to be made fully operational.
Several surveys have revealed that though the stretch between Qazigund and Ramban account for maximum number of road accidents and death of passengers yet the State Health Department has failed to appoint adequate manpower in these health institutions and equip them to utilise their services despite getting adequate funds.
Initially, the trauma hospital in Ramban was made operational without receiving any manpower support but it is yet to be fully equipped while the trauma hospital project in Banihal faced long delays for variety of reasons.
In the absence of availability of state-of-the-art facilities across these centres in the Jammu region, the accident victims and other patients have either to be rushed to Govt Medical College Hospital in Jammu or Srinagar from distant locations to save their lives.
In many instances the patients are airlifted to prevent loss of life and precious time.
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