At a time of embarrassment, and after 9 yrs, doctors’ association elects its president

At a time of embarrassment, and after 9 yrs, doctors’ association elects its president

Dr Suhail Naik vows to support new transfer policy, ensure that ‘some media persons do not hijack sacred mission’

SRINAGAR: Well-known paediatrician Dr Suhail Naik was elected as President of the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) as the final phase of elections concluded on Thursday.
It has happened for the first time in the past 9 years that the President of DAK has been elected democratically, with the support of nearly a dozen associations of doctors – the Indian Medical Association, Medical Faculty Association GMC Srinagar, Medical Faculty Association SKIMS Bemina, Society of Consultant Doctors, Society of Dental Surgeons, Resident Doctors Association GMC, Doctors Association Jammu, Chenab Valley Doctors Associations, Private Practitioners Association J&K, and Indian Dental Association.
Immediately after winning the elections with more than 2,000 votes, Dr Naik told reporters that he won’t allow the association to be exploited for personal gains or vested interests.
“This association will only work for the welfare of doctors and people. We will take to legal recourse if anyone uses our name unauthorisedly,” he said.
“We have suffered enough at the hands of some self-styled leaders of DAK. They have also been hobnobbing with some media persons for their petty political gains,” Dr Naik said.
“If that continues, we will be forced to approach the Kashmir Editors Guild and the Press Council of India so that some media persons do not hijack the sacred mission (of doctors),” he said.
When asked what would be his agenda to improve healthcare in the Valley, Dr Naik said, “I would act as a bridge between doctors, common patients, and the government.”
Dr Naik said he won’t let the association be used to secure transfers to choice posts or for personal interests. “Many hospitals are facing acute shortage of doctors and other staff members, so I would like to raise this issue with strength,” he said, adding that no doctor would be encouraged to skip rural postings.
“We will support the government in bringing a new transfer and promotion policy so that people don’t suffer,” he said.
Dr Naik, who hails from Shopian district and is posted as a paediatrician in Sopore, will hold the post of President for a tenure of two years.
‘The DAK started the process of elections in Julythis year. The association has been marred by controversies ever since its bifurcation in 2012, following a “rebellion” by its then acting president, Dr Nissar-ul-Hassan.
The last elections of DAK were held in 2008, in which Dr Khalid Parvez was elected as president. However, due to his serious health condition, Dr Nissar was appointed as caretaker president. Later, the doctors accused Dr Nissar of hijacking the association “for his personal interests”.