ANANTNAG: As the strike by the doctors posted at district hospital Shopian entered second day on Tuesday against their suspension by the district administration for their alleged unauthorised absence from duty on Saturday, the patients visiting the hospital for treatment from last two days are forced to return dejected.
At least 21 doctors were placed under suspension and their one day salary was deducted by the deputy commissioner Shopian on Saturday after some top officials of the district found them absent during their surprise visit to the hospital.
Outraged over the action on part of district admin, the doctors on Monday went on a strike saying ‘some of them were either off or had been deputed to other hospitals that day. The doctors for the second running day on Tuesday refused to attend out patients department (OPD) adding to the woes of the patients who had come from remote villages of the district for treatment. “The striking doctors only attended the casualty causing severe inconvenience to the OPD patients,” eyewitnesses said.
They said that angered over the refusal of the doctors to see the patients in OPD, the attendants and locals in the afternoon locked the main gate of the hospital. Later, the additional deputy commissioner arrived at the hospital and pacified the angry attendants. However, witnesses said that ADC’s efforts to pacify the doctors failed to yield any results.
Later, some members of the doctors association Kashmir also reached the hospital and held talks with the deputy commissioner Shopian.
The association members told the DC to properly inquire about how many doctors were actually supposed to be on duty that day to which the former agreed.
Deputy commissioner Shopian, G M Dar told Kashmir Reader that some elements don’t want the hospital to function smoothly and that is why they are provoking all the doctors.
“A team of officials from the district administration including CMO Shopian visited the hospital on Saturday after the attendants of an injured boy who had been taken to hospital complained that there was none to attend him. It was only after the officials reached the hospitals, some two or three doctors appeared from somewhere. Even the office of the medical superintendent was found locked,” DC told Kashmir Reader.
He said that had not they received complaint from the attendants they won’t have visited the hospital.
“This is now arrogance on part of some doctors who provoke others as well to go on a strike,” DC said.
He confirmed meeting some members of doctors association.
“After holding meeting with the members of doctors association Kashmir I have constituted an inquiry team comprising of CEO Shopian and medical superintendent Keller hospital. “The inquiry team will look into if any of the doctors was off or deputed to some other hospital that day. Whosoever will be found genuine he will be exonerated and against the rest more action will follow,” DC said.
President of a local organisation, Shopian Heath Aid (SHA), working for the improvement in healthcare in the town, Advocate Habeel described the doctors’ strike as unjustified.
“As per law suspension is no punishment and neither I support any action against them if they are not guilty. If doctors feel they have been suspended for no e of their faults they should adopt the proper way and proceed their case before tbe inquiry committee. But going on a strike is only adding to woes of patients,” Habeel told Kashmir Reader.
He said that doctors can’t make the poor patients hostage over their suspension.
“This is totally unjustified on part of doctors,” he said.
A Para-medic posted in the hospital said that several pregnant women brought to the hospital and were in need of immediate care were referred to Lal Ded during last two days.