Srinagar, Apr 24: “More than five years have passed since the liver transplant unit was sanctioned at SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), but it has failed to take off,” said Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday in a communique.
“While the facility was approved to save lives, nothing has been done to make this life-saving unit functional,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
He said the liver transplant unit was envisaged in 2013, but since then no initiative has been taken by authorities at SKIMS to start the unit.
“A yearly grant of Rupees one crore was sanctioned for placement of trained staff, but till date no infrastructure has been put in place and no staff was trained,” said DAK President.
“The space, which was designated for the unit, has been converted into chambers for consultants,” he said.
Dr Nisar said even the services of two trained liver transplant surgeons have not been utilized and one of the them has submitted his resignation as his skill was wasted.
He said the issue of liver transplant is not being even discussed at any platform and SKIMS authorities seem to be unwilling to start the unit.
“With no transplant facility, salvageable liver failure patients are dying,” he added.
Dr Nisar said patients with liver failure and end-stage liver disease are on rise in Kashmir and the only viable option for them is liver transplantation.
“Liver transplant is the replacement of a diseased liver by some or all of a healthy liver from a live or cadaveric (brain dead) donor,” he said.
“The availability of liver transplantation has transformed the lives of patients with advanced liver disease, but in Kashmir valley they continue to be in despair and seem to have no hope of survival,” said Dr Nisar.