Srinagar: Defending Prof AG Ahangar, the Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS) said on Monday that the removal of the eminent doctor from post of Director, SKIMS Soura, over a news channel’s sting operation was “highly deplorable”.
In a statement, the KCSDS said, “There are many issues involved in this case. First of all, the report should have been verified and upon finding the doctors guilty of private practice in spite of taking allowance, an explanation should have been sought from the erring doctors and the Director should not have been made a scapegoat.”
“The overhasty action compared with non-action on the brutal unprovoked killings and rampant corruption charges in so many departments raises a number of questions,” the KCSDS said. “It seems there is a gameplan of this channel (Republic TV) to denigrate and criminalise Kashmiris at all levels on the smallest pretext and the government of the day is too eager to please it.”
“Compared to the woeful tales of medical criminality outside the valley, the present case is a storm in a tea cup,” the KCSDS said. “We do not mean to say that everything is hunky dory in the institute. We are singling out this case (to ascertain) if there is a mafia which does not want to work with a director who does not make compromises.”
Raising the second issue – of private practice – the KCSDS said, “What policy the government adopts vis-a-vis doctors’ private practice should have inputs from the public whom they are supposed to serve. The current policy needs to be revisited in view of the fact that at the most, 5% people are able to get consultation in the working hours of the hospital. What will happen to the rest of the population? In most cases, it is people who compel doctors for private practice as they need their services very badly.”
“Do not forget that many of them do it as social service without any dividends. Instead of banning private practice, doctors should be given space in the hospital to see patients after working hours. This is already in vogue in many places like Holy Family in New Delhi,” the KCSDS said.
“The government must immediately rescind this order and restore the Director to his position and revoke others’ suspension and restore the dignity of the prime institute,” the group said.