Recently, Mudasir Ali, a senior editor at Greater Kashmir died of a heart attack. His family alleged that the on-duty doctor at the hospital was not available immediately and when he did attend the patient, he delayed treatment. The unfortunate death brought back to focus the poor response to health emergencies in Kashmir. An inquiry was ordered into Mudasir’s death and as per Greater Kashmir, the investigation has admitted to multiple lapses in handling Mudasir. The committee has also recommended attaching the medical staff with the administrative office for the time being.
But Mudasir is not the first and despite the government’s claims, it is likely that he will not be the last. This despite the fact that the Kashmir Valley’s Directorate of health services has about 1980 doctors in two thousand one hundred and two hospitals across Kashmir. Why then is the response to medical emergencies inadequate?
In our latest podcast, host Sarwat Javaid explores this question. She speaks to Irfan Ahmad Bhat, a consultant cardiologist at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital, to talk about the public health response. Doctor Bhat is also a member of the Save Heart Initiative, a pan Jammu and Kashmir network of medical staff who coordinate to help save patients who suffer cardiac arrests about the same.