Strike at SKIMS enters 5th day, critical patients sent back

Strike at SKIMS enters 5th day, critical patients sent back
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Srinagar: Many critical patients had to go back after they were denied treatment at SKIMS Soura on Tuesday where resident doctors continued to boycott emergency duties for the fifth consecutive day.
For Muhammad Ashraf of Lal Bazar, a four-day stay at SKIMS emergency ward came to an abrupt end today. “Instead of treating him, authorities sent us home citing the absence of resident doctors,” said his son, Suhail Ahmad.
He said his father was supposed to undergo chest biopsy for detecting the extent of infection, but the consultant doctors at the premier institution did not attend him.
“They told us that screening can’t be done in absence of resident doctors,” Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
On Monday, Ashraf was shifted to Khyber Hospital, a private health institution in Srinagar, for further treatment. However, doctors informed the family that the tests are not done there as the ‘chest biopsy’ facility is available in SKIMS only.
“We are in distress because we have nowhere to go,” Ahmad said.
Sabzar Farooq, 16, from Tekipora Shopian said he was brutally beaten by army men but no doctor treated him at SKIMS. “I am unable to walk following the severe beating by the army. I survived their torture by some miracle. After coming here I was hoping to recover but doctors only told me to wait for more days. They have cancelled my surgery twice last week,” he lamented.
A Class 12 student, Sabzar has been diagnosed with spinal trauma. Farooq Ahmad, his father, said that the boy’s spinal cord is under severe pressure as ‘puss’ has accumulated around it. “Two weeks ago, doctors told us to be ready for surgery. It was scheduled on Monday. But they cancelled it again due to the strike,” he said.
Nazir Ahmad of Anantnag has a similar story. He has been sent home without being been treated.
Ahmad said he has been awaiting surgery for six days at the Surgical Emergency ward. “All our efforts to convince doctors went in vain. They just rejected our repeated requests,” he said.
His wife told Kashmir Reader that she is apprehensive about his condition as tests and MRI are yet to be done.
Nearly 700 resident doctors began their strike on Friday to demand hike in pay which, they claimed, was slashed by hospital authorities in 2001.
“The resident doctors were paid at par with those in AIIMS New Delhi and PGI Chandigarh, till 2001. The government slashed the pay for unknown reasons and has not restored it till date,” said Dr Zubair Ahmad, President of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA), SKIMS.
He reiterated that the protest will continue till the demands are met. “We have been urging the government and the SKIMS authorities to remove the pay disparity. But they have turned deaf ears to our pleas,” Dr Ahmad said.