Srinagar: Resident doctors at the SKIMS Soura went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday against the removal of Director SKIMS Dr A G Ahangar from the post.
While the resident doctors attended emergency duties on Tuesday, the Out Patient Department (OPD) was deserted.
“We will continue the protests and boycott general duty till our director is not reinstated,” said Dr Zubair, a representative of Resident Doctors Association (RDA) SKIMS.
“The decision by the present government to remove the Director is highly condemnable. We stand in solidarity with him as he was removed despite that there is nothing against him. If he is not reinstated immediately, we will withdraw from Emergency duties as well,” he said.
The Non-Gazetted Employees Welfare Association (NGEWA) also joined the protest program of RDA and threatened to boycott all emergency duties if the ousted director Dr A G Ahanger is not reinstated immediately.
“We condemn the decision unanimously as there is a catastrophic situation in SKIMS in absence of the director,” said a representative of NGEWA
The Association members on Tuesday held a two-hour sit-in protest at the institute against the sacking.
Most of the patients who visited the hospitals were shocked to see the OPD non functional. Scheduled surgeries were also canceled due to the absence of the resident doctors.
“No routine surgery could be held in Cardiology, Gastroenterology and Neuro Surgery Departments in absence of resident doctors,” said an official.
He said the hospital was already facing staff crunch due to the faculty vacations.
“Due to the heavy rush of patients some critical patients were shifted to other government hospitals including SMHS Hospital and JVC,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat informed the Legislative Assembly that the government will take appropriate steps to end the ongoing strike in SKIMS Soura.
Responding to the query raised by M Y Tarigami and Mian Altaf Ahmed regarding the strike of SKIMS doctors, the minister said the government had placed three senior faculty members of SKIMS under suspension and attached its director with the GAD following a violation of the norms.
“As per the SKIMS norms, no doctor can do private practice, as they are being paid non-practicing allowance. Since they (doctors) were found violating the norms, and Government initiated disciplinary action against them,” Bali said.
Appreciating the concern of the members regarding the disturbance of healthcare services in the SKIMS due to the on-going strike, the minister said that all essential services including, OPD and surgeries are going smoothly and assured the House that the government will not allow hampering the services and address the issue soon.