Hospitals suspend routine surgeries
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network
Imphal, August 10 2011:
With the ongoing agitation demanding the declaration of a full fledged Sadar Hills district paralyzing all vehicular movements along National Highways 53 and 39 for ten straight days, the prices of all essential commodities in Manipur have rose astronomically, hitting the average citizens the hardest.
Hospitals have also suspended routine surgeries for lack of oxygen supply.
Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal have refused entertaining routine surgical operations since the agitation intensified few days ago, and are now only dealing with critical cases that require emergency attention, said authorities of the two overburdened hospitals.
While talking exclusively to Newmai News Network the medical superintendent of JNIMS, Dr Khomdon informed that the general strike has reduced the oxygen stock of the hospital to a mere 85 cylinders, barely enough to meet the demands of routine surgical operations.
The hospital has willy-nilly suspended all routine surgical operations for lack of oxygen and has been entertaining only patients who are critical especially from the last week, he said.
The story at RIMS and Shija Hospital are similar.
In these two hospitals too, authorities said that routine operations have either been suspended or deferred as the stock of oxygen is fast running out due to the indefinite general strike called by the SHDDC which has paralyzed National Highways 53 and 39 since August 1 .
Some 300 oxygen cylinders were recently brought in from Guwahati but the trucks were stranded at Maram following the intensification of the agitation.
With the help of security escort, some 200 cylinders, expected to last only 15 days, reached Imphal and are now reportedly stocked at a warehouse in Mantri-pukhri.
Hospital authorities are saying that since empty cylinders could not be dispatched to Guwahati for refills, the crisis is literally compounding with each passing day.
However, the stocks of life saving drugs are reportedly sufficient in the state as of now.
Repeated appeals by hospital authorities and civil societies to allow free passage of oxygen cylinder carrying trucks have not cut ice with the agitators led by SHDDC which has imposed a blanket prohibition on the movement of vehicles along the highways.
Not just oxygen, essential commodities are also fast disappearing from the shelves in shops triggering an artificial inflation of prices.
For instance, a 50 kg bag of Parmal rice is being sold at ' 650 which otherwise costs ' 510.A cylinder of domestic LPG is sold at ' 800 in the black market.
The prices of onion and potato have also touched ' 40 per kg.
Groceries in Imphal are saying that the prices of PDS items have increased ' 10 across the board because of the general strike.