Srinagar: The resident doctors’ strike continued at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura for the fourth day on Friday, leaving healthcare services to remain badly affected.
The Jammu and Kashmir Doctors’ Coordination Committee (JKDCC) on Friday threatened to start a state-wide agitation in case the government failed to reinstate the ousted SKIMS Director, Dr A G Ahangar.
“The government should talk to resident doctors and fulfil their demand. Otherwise, we will be forced to start an indefinite strike across the J&K hospitals,” JKDCC spokesperson Dr Mir Mushtaq told reporters in a hurriedly called press conference at the institute. He was flanked by representatives of the Doctors’ Association Kashmir, the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) SKIMS and the RDA SMHS.
Dr Mushtaq said that there is resentment among doctors over the humiliation faced by the Director SKIMS, despite being the “highest chair” of the healthcare sector in J&K. The JKDCC is against such action, he emphasised.
The amalgam body said they would extend the doctors’ strike to all hospitals of J&K if the government did not reinstate Dr Ahangar to the director’s post as per the directions of the High Court, which stayed an official order relieving him from the coveted post.
Dr Mushtaq said the government had shown an utter disrespect to the state judiciary by appointing Dr Omar Javed Shah as the new director of SKIMS Soura despite a stay on the removal of Dr Ahangar.
The government had on Thursday appointed Dr Omar Javed Shah, Professor Surgical GE and Dean Medical Faculty SKIMS as Director SKIMS and ex-officio secretary to the government, in addition to his own duties.
The order comes hours after the JK High Court stayed the state government’s order, removing Ahangar from the post of Director SKIMS and attaching him with the general administration department.
“We condemn this undemocratic move and inform the authorities that our agitation will intensify in coming days if Dr Ahangar is not allowed to hold the post with respect,” Dr Mushtaq said.
The spokesperson said the government had turned a blind eye towards the striking doctors at SKIMS Soura, which has also affected patient care. He alleged that the government is completely ignoring the problems arising in the institute.
The doctors have urged the J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, to intervene in the matter to stop them from launching a state-wide agitation.
Meanwhile, SKIMS RDA president Dr Zubair Ahmad said that the strike by resident and senior resident doctors will continue till the director joins.