Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar is completing its 32nd year in full bloom. SKIMS being a Deemed University and premier medical center of India is engaged in providing high quality patient care, academic courses to produce trained and skilled manpower for the whole state, and need-based biomedical research to provide better patient care with modern and sophisticated equipments and to address the diseases peculiar to the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
SKIMS is engaged in providing quality patient care and there has been progressive and remarkable increase in number of OPD attendance from 06.24 Lac in 2013 to 08.17 Lac in 2014. Similarly, other vital hospital statistics show noteworthy increase: Accident and Emergency registrations 01.09 Lac; total hospital admissions 54042; total number of major surgeries 13846; a record of 02.08 Crore Laboratory Investigations; 29593 MRI and CT scans and other lab investigations. The other vital hospital statistics are also comparable to National Institutes of repute: bed occupancy rate of 92.1%, average length of hospital stay of 4.2 days and net death rate of 3%. It is noteworthy that SKIMS has shortest hospital stay compared to AIIMS New Delhi or PGI Chandigarh where it exceeds 6-7 days. It is because SKIMS is pressured for beds and there is urgent need to increase the beds.
SKIMS has been serving as an industry for production of highly qualified doctors, nurses and paramedical personnel’s. It awards a variety of medical courses such as Post-doctoral (D.M./M.Ch. Program), Doctoral (Ph.D. Program), Postgraduate (MD/MS Program), Undergraduate (MBBS), B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Medical/Laboratory/Operation Theater/Radiation Oncology/ Radio-diagnosis and Imaging/Nuclear Medicine/ Neonatal Technology programs), M.Sc. / B.Sc. in Nursing Education and need based biomedical research. SKIMS regularly admits via CET 103 Postgraduate students for MD/MS in 20 specialties such as Medicine, Surgery, and others; 40 DM/Mch/PhD in 17 specialties and 75 in Nursing and other Graduate Courses.
SKIMS faculty regularly attends National and International conferences/workshops/CMEs. During current year, faculty members were deputed for short Observerships/Fellowships within and outside country to upgrade their skills. Likewise conferences/workshops/CMEs were held at SKIMS by number of departments. During current year about 70 conferences/workshops/CMEs were held in SKIMS Soura and 12 in SKIMS Medical College Bemina.
The SKIMS was created with the hope to reduce the dependence of the state on outside medical centers so that the poor people of the state will not need to travel outside the state for management of their diseases. Like others, I am of the firm belief that after 32 years of existence SKIMS has developed sufficiently to cater almost all the needs of people. SKIMS has rightly gained the faith, trust and complete confidence of its users. The people of the state are witness to the fact that SKIMS stood the test of time regardless of the prevailed situation – be it militancy-related turmoil of more than two decades or the recent devastating floods, which left trail of destruction. It is well known to everyone that SKIMS was functioning routinely during militancy period when the whole valley was frozen and engulfed with curfews, violence and destruction. Not only that, SKIMS was the only medical institution who continued with academic programmes and regular production of human resource such as doctors, paramedical staff and nurses during turmoil period.
SKIMS FUNCTIONING DURING SEPTEMBER 2014 FLOODS
Recent unprecedented floods caused heavy damage to health care facilities of main hospitals of the Valley including SMHS Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital, GB Pant Hospital, Lal Ded Maternity Hospital and SKIMS Medical College Hospital Bemina. Obviously, the SKIMS Soura was only Tertiary Care Hospital functional and bore the main brunt. During initial two weeks because of huge rush of patients in general and Maternity and Pediatric patients and Neonates in particular, SKIMS converted Govt Girls High School Soura into mini-hospital and hundreds of patients were treated there. Later, in order to accommodate maternity patients and critically sick children, “Patient Sarai” situated in front of hospital was converted into Mini-Hospital wherein all Maternity patients and Cancer Patients are being treated even today. In short SKIMS created additional 180 beds at different places including Sarai. The biggest challenge was to cater the heavy rush of Neonates and Children. Until middle of November 2014, average number of Neonates and Sick Pediatric patients in the hospital was 90 to 120 against our capacity of 32 only. The most difficult task was creation of 10-beded “Pediatric ICU (PICU)” for ventilator support of critically sick children which saved hundreds of precious lives. I must express my gratitude and sincere thanks to whole staff of Departments of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Nursing Administration Anaesthiology and Hospital Administration for successful management of patients. SKIMS Faculty, Para Medical Staff and supportive Staff accepted this challenge with smile to give the healing touch to our ailing patients who came to SKIMS. Not only our doctors and paramedical staff came to serve the ailing patients who themselves were victim of the flood and were in mental agony, but also medical personnel not on rolls of SKIMS but living in the vicinity of SKIMS voluntarily attended SKIMS and joined my staff and treated a large number of patients who reported to SKIMS as this was only functional hospital during the devastating flood in the Kashmir Valley. The doctors and paramedical staff from other hospitals came voluntarily to provide excellent medical services for the benefit of the patients. SKIMS provided free medicine and free investigations to the people of affected areas in particular and others in general at that time. Accommodation to doctors and students who were badly affected by the floods were given accommodation till they made some alternative arrangements. Our brave drivers fetched the patients from flood areas even at the cost of their lives. This was the crucial time for the SKIMS to accept this challenge. The specialty departments of the SKIMS have a tradition of providing high quality super-specialty patient care in their respective disciplines. Referrals are attended by SKIMS from Govt. Medical College and its Associated Hospitals, various District Level Hospitals and (PHC’s of Health Services and Nursing Homes) of the State for specialized diagnostic and therapeutic advice and management. Several land mark diagnostic and therapeutic interventions have been introduced in almost all super-specialties like Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Endocrinology, Nephrology, Clinical Hematology Plastic Surgery, , Surgical Gastroenterology, Surgical Oncology, Urology, Hepato-Biliary Surgery, Cardio-vascular Thoracic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Microbiology, Anaesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Pathology, Immunology & Molecular Medicine and Neurosurgery etc. The immaculate valour and great commitment of SKIMS dedicated faculty, residents, Para-medical and other supportive staff are deeply rooted to achieve high quality patient care services. Through the ISRO Telemedicine Unit of SKIMS is connected to number of National Institutions of the Country and also to far flung hospitals of the state such as Kargil, Handwara, Udhampur, Leh etc. SKIMS holds regular telemedicine conferences with these health care centers that not only upgrade our skills but also help other remote hospitals of the state for deliverance of better patient care.