Negligence is condemnable wherever it happens, but we must not demonise the whole profession
We All Blamed Lal Ded Hospital But No One Asked Any Question About The Lack Of Basic Facility That Could Have Saved This Child At Kupwara Hospital In The First Place
M H Altaf Khan
The heart-rending incident of a Kupwara woman who delivered her child on the roadside enraged us all. But what was more tragic is that this unfortunate event started an ugly debate or I must say trolling campaign on social and mainstream media….defaming and degrading our own national honour and dignity. From social media intellectuals and activists to pro-India and even resistance leaders every one among us started pouring in condemning statements against doctors, hospitals and institutions. We are racists; our doctors are inept, our hospitals are pathetic and so on were some common comments on media and social media. By chance I myself was at Lal-Ded hospital during that time as my better-half was admitted there. For ten days continuously I watched doctors, paramedics, nurses and other staff of this busiest hospital working hard to cure their patients and believe me throughout these ten days I found angels and cherubs around me in form of doctors and nurses. Yes! We have some bad among us too as every society and institution has, we do have our shortcomings too but brushing a whole lot of saviours as racists, ghastly and hopeless saddened me a lot. How can we judge an institution by few bad people or one act of negligence as worthless, ignoring a whole good lot and good deeds? The treatment and affectionate care my wife along with hundreds of other ailing women among whom I can assure where from far-flung forest areas, got in front of my own eyes motivated me to stand in defend of these hard working medicos of my nation. My better-half was under the treatment of Doctor Farhat Jabeen whose smiling advice to my ailing wife to remain positive and never think of any negativity infused new life in me at a time of despair. I saw her staff, young team of doctors whom I wish to name one by one but for unavoidable reason am not able to do so, working relentlessly, smiling and endeavouring the ill-behaviours of attendants’ without any complaint. Wise men say that ‘the smile of doctor cures his patient half’ and there is an authentic Hadith of our Prophet (SAW) that, smiling in your brothers face is an act of charity. Believe me, I observed this charity at Lal-Ded hospital in abundance but when a mistake at this hospital got blown out of proportion, it really distressed me a lot. Yes! The death of a foetus is too tragic and should have been avoided but has anyone of us ever talked or written about the work load that senior doctors carry out at this busiest hospital. Have we ever tried to understand the dilemma of Post graduates who have to keep standing on their legs for almost 48 hours unabated before they can take a sigh of breath? We all blamed Lal-Ded hospital but no one asked any questions about the lack of basic facility that could have saved this child at Kupwara Hospital in the first place. Why did not we blame the successive regimes who suck our blood, enforce and pull out heavy taxes from us but have failed to provide these basic facilities to us, the tax-payers? When I talk about our own doctors and hospitals my experiences are not limited to Lal-Ded only.
Last year during same season; one of my sisters suffering from colon malignancy had to go for a surgery at SKIMS. She is by grace of Allah good now, thanks to Doctors and medical staff at SKIMS whom I saw devoted to their duty, using everything possible to save patients. I do know some senior doctors at SKIMS whose approach towards patients and attendants’ is not so graceful and same may be with other hospitals and doctors too but then I contest those who brush every person, every institute with same negative brush and in other words disgrace our own pride and people. I don’t know why we the people of Kashmir are contended and so fond of outsiders. In the shape of medicos, these outsiders come as agents, lure us to go to outside hospitals, extract heavy money and in many cases return only body bags to us. Why don’t we believe in our own, why cannot we encourage our own? We all know that Shaheed-I-Hikmat Doctor Abdul Ahad Guru performed an open heart surgery at SKIMS in early 90’s. If Doctor Guru was able to do that then why can’t others do it now? If doctor like late Ali Jan, late Merajud din, late Sajad Reshi, G Q Allaqaband, Khurshid Iqbal, Sushil Razdaan and many others can cure thousands of us through their pleasant smile, care and expertise , why can’t we repay them by spreading smiles, benevolence and positives? Our problem is that we, the people of Kashmir, do not believe in our own, our negativity haunts us as we fail to encourage our own people and keep relying on the business promoting outsiders. Those who wrote articles, issued press notes, trolled on social media and finally managed to get a non-Kashmiri speaking PG student penalised for her allegedly racist remarks and sheer negligence should have at least tried to visit Lal-Ded hospital once and see the number of patients especially from far-flung villages and forest areas thronging this hospital and being treated and cured at par with others without any bias. Yes! Disallowing an ailing women admission in hospital is wrong but how many of us tried to venture through the whole story or research the facts. Negative news came our way, and as our national tendency we propagated it, commented on it and followed it religiously. Let us all shun pessimism and negativity for a while, spread and spearhead positives of our motherland and become agents of change, a positive change……..May Allah be with us all and may he guide us to righteous path …..