Srinagar: The first phase of trade union elections for Kashmir-based doctors has concluded with the appointment of over 200 Central Executive Council members, who will participate in the last phase of elections next month.
The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) formed in 2002 has been marred by controversies since 2012 after its bifurcation. In May this month, doctors decided to hold elections after a gap of nine years.
Dr Mir Muhstaq, the spokesperson, told Kashmir Reader that nearly 200 Central Executive Council members were elected in the first phase of elections which concluded last week.
“The executive members have been elected after doctors in every government hospital of the Valley voted in the first phase. The members will now be illegible to vote in the final phase to be held next month. The core group of the association will be elected in the final phase, including the President of the association, its General Secretary, and other members,” he said.
According to him, a notice in this regard will be issued soon to invite nomination papers for the post of president and other core group members.
Dr Mushtaq said that doctors were in dire need of representatives because they were facing various issues inside and outside hospitals. He said the doctors were living a very stressful life in Kashmir due to a variety of reasons.
“We are being harassed and attacked regularly by angry attendants (of patients) and police. So we have decided to hold elections after nine years,” the DAK spokesperson said.
In May, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) for the elections, Dr Muhammad Saleem Bhat, had issued a notification seeking nominations from eligible doctors to contest the election for the central executive of the association.
With the last phase of elections around the corner, the aspiring candidates have already launched their campaigns in different hospitals.
There are nearly 100 hospitals in Kashmir region. The main contenders in the elections would be representing nearly 1000 doctors, as per the latest membership figures of the DAK.
The election is being held as per DAK Constitution in two phases. In phase one, Central Executive Council members have been elected from all hospitals and health institutions. They will elect the Central Executive Body as well as District Bodies through phase II.
As per the first notification, each Block Level Hospital or Community Health Centre (CHC) has elected three members, each Sub-District Hospital has elected four members, and each District Hospital has elected five members. Six members were elected from Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.
“Similarly, in SKIMS Medical College and Hospital, Bemina, and SKIMS Soura, six members from each hospital were elected for their DAK wing. Five members have been elected from private practitioners and retired faculty,” the spokesperson said.
“All those doctors elected in phase one are eligible for phase two elections, in which District Bodies and the Central Executive Body will be elected. The various posts for which elections will be held will be notified separately, after the completion of Phase 1,” the notification said.