The management at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura is facing sharp criticism from the locals and visitors for charging Rs 100 for Special entry pass for fifteen minutes visit to wards after 6:30 pm.
Sources in SKIMS informed that the daily income of the hospital is very enormous and collects Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 per day in the form of special entry passes.
“The Special Entry Pass doesn’t mention that it is meant for the evening visitors only. These entry-fee slip have been printed out at SKIMS offset press and is erroneous that indicates that these slips have been printed out in haste,” said a hospital insider.
The circular issued by SKIMS on April 16 this year under no. SIMS- 138-150-15-438-43-414-D directed attendants who report at SKIMS beyond the upper limit of visiting hours, i.e, 6:30PM, shall be issued special passes of RS 100, which shall be valid for 15 minutes only.
Many attendants alleged that the hospital authorities are minting money from them by issuing special entry passes. “We are allowed to enter into the hospital only if will Rs. 100 after 6:30 pm and who are unable to pay exorbitant entry fee are disallowed to see their patients. They are minting money from us unnecessarily,” said a cluster of attendants at SKIMS.
“It has become more of a private hospital now where a person is charged for every service. We visit here to take care of our patients. I wonder what a poor person will do if any of his family member is admitted here,” Rasheed Ahmad, an attendant from Baramulla.
Sources in the hospital said that the discrimination is only done to the common people.
“I have myself seen many times that people who come in Ambassadors, Gypsies or SUV vehicles are specially allowed to enter through emergency section without any halt but according to the SKIMS administration the entrance closed for other attendants,” sources said.
Earlier Director SKIMS Dr Showkat Zargar had clarified that this move was not initiated to mint money but to improve the patient health care and to avoid confrontation, regular fights between late evening visitors and security personnel.
“It may discourage ‘unnecessary’ visitors to visit the premises but increasing number of late evening visitors not only affected cleanliness of the hospital but also affects the patient care as regular complaints of quarrel at hospital entry points creates inconvenience to all ,” Dr Zargar had said.
When contacted, Dr. Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent of the hospital said that increasing incidents of scuffle between security persons and the visitors forced them to take this step.
“To charge Rs. 100 to an attendant in evening hours is to discourage the scuffle between the visitors and the security persons,” Jan said.
“The visiting hours in respect of the attendants who desire to visit their patients from 4PM to 6:30PM and the visiting charge would be same as Rs 5. Attendants who report at SKIMS beyond the upper limit of visiting hours, i.e, 6:30PM, they shall be issued special passes of RS 100, which shall be valid for 15 minutes only,” Jan added.