Rs 100 for 15 minute visit; SKIMS says order meant to end ‘unnecessary brawls’

Junaid Nabi Bazaz

SRINAGAR: The SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura Thursday justified its decision of charging Rs 100 from visitors who visit the tertiary care hospital after 6 PM.
Director Dr Showkat Zargar said that it was taken to avoid “brawls and scuffles” which take place during evening hours of the hospital between attendants and security guards.
According to the order, which was implemented few days ago by the hospital administration, a visitor has pay to Rs 100 for a visit of 15 minutes if he visits the hospital after 6 pm. However the day-time visiting charges have not been altered.
“A patient who needs one or two attendants to look after him, are always present in the hospital. So why do more relatives of a patient need to visit the hospital in the evening. These unnecessary visits leads to unwanted rush in the hospital which most of the time amounts to trifle fights between attendants and security guards which disturbs the overall working of the hospital,” Dr Zargar told Kashmir Reader.
Earlier some newspapers in the valley had reported that this move was intended to generate revenue for the hospital which Dr Zargar rejected. He said that only aim to implement this order was to maintain discipline in the hospital so that it could deliver healthcare to people efficiently.
Superintendent SKIMS, Dr Farook Jan told Kashmir Reader that the hospital had reported no fights since the order was implemented.
However on Thursday President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), a faction led by Dr Nisar ul Hassan, in a statement condemned this order and termed it as anti people. He said that nobody visits hospital for pleasure but for treatment and SKIMS should desist from “sucking poor people dry.”
Terming the order as “illogical” and unfortunate, the DAK president said that hospital authorities put blame on people while hiding their inefficiencies.