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Two months after death cancer patient gets emergency MRI appointment

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Srinagar: Grief revisited the family of Lal Jan in north Kashmir weeks after her death due to cancer. Last week a phone call from SKIMS Soura informed them that the patient is listed for emergency MRI scan on Saturday.
The 44-year-old Lal Jan of Mawar in Kupwara district died at SKIMS Soura on February 13, a month after being diagnosed of cancer.
The family told Kashmir Reader that hospital authorities ignored the critical condition of the patient in the first week of January when she was diagnosed of lung cancer. They listed her name for tests for April 7, three months after the diagnosis.
“All our requests fell on deaf ears. My aunt died while waiting for her turn,” her nephew, Aamir Manzoor said.
“In January we requested the officials at the Radiology department to do her tests on priority because she was very sick. They didn’t listen to our requests and instead asked us to wait for three months. They scheduled her tests for April 7 but she died in SKIMS on February 13 as cancer had spread in her body to a dangerous level,” said Manzoor, who lives in Srinagar.
According to him, the family received a phone call on Saturday which brought back painful memories.
“I received a call from an unknown person who informed me that my aunt is scheduled for tests on Saturday. It was painful for everyone in the family,” he said.
A law student at Kashmir University, Manzoor said, he witnessed troubled healthcare at SKIMS whenever he would accompany her along with her husband.
“My aunt suffered a lot for want of treatment at SKIMS. The institution lacks diagnostic facilities and only blue-eyed and influential patients get priority treatment,” he said.
Lal Jan was admitted to the Department of Surgical Oncology, SKIMS in January after diagnosed with lung cancer. However, she faced a painful experience before death as the Hospital authorities denied her diagnostic facility on priority, according to him.
The case has again brought to fore the lack of diagnostic facilities at SKIMS which has only one MRI machine for nearly 2000 to 3000 patients, who visit the tertiary care health institute on daily basis.
Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Shah admitted such situations arise in the hospital because the institution has only one MRI for every department.
“We don’t have separate MRI machines for cancer patients so such unfortunate situations arise sometimes where we lose critical patients before the test is done,” he said.
However, he said that SKIMS was upgrading its Regional Cancer Center where there will be separate diagnostic facilities for cancer patients.
“Things will improve to a large extent after we upgrade the cancer center because cancer patients are the priority for the institute,” the director said.

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