SNM is a district hospital, but for the people of Leh and thousands of migrants and tourists, it is a one-stop solution for most of their health concerns. Our strength is our staff braving challenges like the extreme weather and the pandemic.
The shortage of staff continues to be an issue, though we hired some because of the Covid-19 emergency. We now need specialists to perform major surgeries so that patients do not have to travel to Srinagar or other places. We have three pathologists, but we need microbiologists.
Despite the challenges, I feel proud that the hospital won the best Kayakalp award (a Central government cleanliness award) in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015-16 and 2018-19 for best performance in patient care hygiene and disposal of biomedical waste. It was an acknowledgement of our staff’s dedication.
Our new RT-PCR lab is functional at Chushul [village] thanks to the efforts of the Union territory administration. The lab has equipment and trained staff, and can do 1,000 tests a day. The National Health Mission has also been very supportive. Under eSanjeevani, our doctors offer online consultations to patients at home. We also provide conveyance to the patients who are referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.
We are hopeful that the sanction to upgrade the hospital to 500 beds and build the first medical college in Ladakh will help resolve most of our problems. We are highly thankful to the Centre for addressing this need.
As told to Tariq Bhat
Angmo is medical superintendent, SNM Hospital