Health Minister ‘insults’ SMHS staff

Nayeem Rather

Srinagar: The doctors and the staff of the emergency section of the SMHS Hospital said on Monday that Health Minister Chowdhary Lal Singh insulted them and behaved in a manner unbecoming of a senior cabinet minister.
“He first snatched the nameplate from Dr Showkat Jeelani (head of the department of surgery)’s apron and spoke to him in a very demeaning way,” said a junior doctor on the condition of anonymity as he feared reprisal.
“He then shouted at two doctors whose aprons were not buttoned…he has this typical way of speaking down to people,” he added.
The doctors said that Singh wouldn’t listen to any explanation they offered and instead rapped them for “lacking discipline and work culture”.
Medical Faculty Association general secretary Prof Sajad Majid Qazi told Kashmir Reader that Singh’s behaviour with the doctors was “pathetic and shameful”. He threatened the doctors and leveled outrageous charges at them.”
After the incident, the MFA held an emergency meeting with the medical superintendents of all major hospitals and expressed their concern over Singh’s behavior.
The MFA demanded that doctors and other health staff should be addressed with dignity in future.
“In future we won’t tolerate that kind of disrespectful behavior towards any staff member,” said Prof Kaiser Ahmed, president MFA.
While SMHS Hospital medical superintendent Dr Nazir Ahmed Choudhary said he will not comment on the incident because he had no information about it, Singh said he was “only trying to enforce discipline”.
“I want to improve the health sector and discipline the way the staff works. In this endeavor, people should support me,” Singh told Kashmir Reader.