Srinagar: More than 100 surgeries have been cancelled in SMHS Hospital in the past three days due to the strike by resident doctors that began on Tuesday.
Officials told Kashmir Reader that after a series of negotiations failed to attain any result, they were forced to cancel all the scheduled and routine surgeries at SMHS Hospital.
“Only emergency operations could be conducted due to acute shortage of doctors following the strike by resident doctors,” a senior official, wishing anonymity, said.
He said that doctors posted in operation theatres at the Department of Surgery attended emergency cases only.
Another official said that no surgery list was prepared in the hospital after the resident doctors announced to go on indefinite strike.
“Patients who were scheduled to undergo operations on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were either sent back or asked to wait till the strike ends,” he added.
Ghulam Qadir Chohan of Dardekot in Uri has been waiting for surgical intervention at SMHS for the past one week, after he was diagnosed with a kidney infection. No doctor has attended him since Tuesday, his family said.
“Doctors promised us to conduct his surgery this week but they went on strike without thinking about us. We are poor and can’t afford to stay in hospital for long,” said Ghulam’s wife, Parveena Begum.
“We collected funds in many Masjids to buy the expensive drugs and consumables. Doctors are insensitive towards our sufferings,” she said.
Another patient, Abdul Salam, was admitted to the hospital last Wednesday but his surgery has been delayed three times since. “Now, doctors have given us a fresh date. Let’s hope our problem is solved this week,” Dilshada, his wife, said.
Muhammad Qasim, 10, who is suffering from gangrene in the intestines, is in distress as resident doctors have abandoned him in a ward without providing further treatment.
“His condition is deteriorating every day because doctors don’t attend him. They also refused to do his surgery,” his father, Nazir Ahmad, said.
The hospital authorities said on Thursday that they have recruited a fresh lot of doctors and terminated nearly 80 striking doctors.
“We have terminated nearly 80 striking doctors and recruited a fresh lot of 35 registrars who have already joined. We have also asked post graduate students to join duties,” Principal of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar Dr Samia Rashid said.
“The striking doctors are no willing to join duties. We can’t let the patient care suffer because that is our first priority. We have taken a strict stand against the inhumane approach of doctors,” she said.
Dr Rashid said they had already fulfilled the main demand of the striking doctors. “The registrars and demonstrators will receive pay as per the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The post graduate students can’t get hike in pay as they are students,” Dr Rashid said.
The association of resident doctors, which claims to represent more than 500 doctors, has said that they were forced to take the extreme step because of the apathy of the administration.