Doctors Demand Security

Strike hits hospital functioning

SRINAGAR:  The indefinite strike of doctors and Para-medical staff in Jehlum Valley Hospital located in Bemina Srinagar demanding release of molestation accused and security cover for the hospital left patients with no option on Tuesday but to leave the hospital beds and wards.

The irony is that striking doctors and Para-medical staff in medical attire emerged outside the premises of the hospital and forced vendors and shopkeepers to close their business. From past three days the medical equipments in the hospital are lying at six’s and seven’s and nobody from the hospital bothers to keep those equipments in order. The trouble started when a female patient from Bemina locality alleged that she was mo-lested by an OT technician while she was still under the effect of anesthesia. The revelations of the female pa-tient angered people and his family members and they barged into the hospital and ransacked some equip-ments there. The technician soon after the protest was arrested by police and a case under relevant sections was registered against him. Sensing trouble, the Medical Superintendent JVC Dr Ajaz Baba

immediately issued suspension order vide number 188 of 2015 in black and white that reads, “as confirmed by Principal/Director SKIMS and EOSG pending enquiry into the case, Muhammad Iqbal Khan (Code number 233) OT Technician is placed under suspension with immediate effect.”

Next day of the incident, the doctors and Para-medical staff went on indefinite strike causing immense hardships to the patients. When this reporter visited JVC hospital on Tuesday, wards were empty and patients were leaving the wards and hospital beds. Even Emer-gency wore a deserted look. “I don’t know what has hap-pened to these doctors. They are turning out to be ‘hangmen’ in medical attire. Their behavior is unaccepta-ble,” Muhammad Ramzan, the father of a 10th class pa-tient Rizwan Dar told CNS.

“I can’t afford moving to another hospital now so I will wait till these doctors end their strike,” he said.

Another elderly patient Ghulam Nabi Zargar from Ganderbal District said that throughout his life he has never come across such a situation, when instead of tak-ing care of patients, doctors preferred to resort to illegal means. “There is no accountability and everything is in mess,” he said.    

A six-month pregnant woman from North Kashmir came for a regular check up and her husband came to know that doctors will not see her.

This happened not only with North Kashmir woman, but also with all the other patients. Some of them had come from the far-flung areas. Many patients, who were admit-ted a night before and needed surgery or medical atten-tion, left the hospital with gloomy faces.

Irfan Ahmed from Sumbal area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district had fallen from stairs got a big cut on his face and was brought to emergency at 8 am on Tuesday. His mother and other relatives were found wandering here and there in search of a surgeon as no doctor agreed to do the needful. The family left the hos-pital and managed to treat Irfan at a private nursing home.

Doctors have been demanding the immediate re-lease of the molestation accused and revocation of his suspension order. “We will not work till the government does not accede to our demands. It has become a rou-tine for the attendants and patients to thrash and abuse the doctors and we will not allow it to happen in future,” the protesting doctors said.

The family members of the female patient who had accused technician of molestation told CNS that it were agitated people who ransacked some gas cylinders in the hospital. “I am telling you with authority that in a bid to mislead the administration and the government, the doctors have themselves scattered the medical equip-ment. By doing this they want to save the accused tech-nician,” the father of the victim patient said.

He said that doctors want to turn the hospital into se-curity garrison so that they can have a field day in ha-rassing the patients and attendants. 

When some odd patients were crying for help on Tues-day, the doctors were busy in holding a meeting that was being presided by Medical Superintendent JVC. Some doctors and Para-medical staff closed the main gates of the hospital restricting the entry of patients and atten-dants.

Despite repeated attempts Health Minister Lal Singh didn’t pick up the phone while Medical Superintendent JVC had kept his phone switched off.

President, SKIMS Medical College Employees Union Muhammad Yakoob said that strike of doctors and Para-medical staff will continue till the government did not fulfil their three deamds. “We demand the installation of two Armed Police bunkars in the hospital, immediate release of the accused technician from the jail and arrest of the ‘culprits’ responsible for ransacking of hospital equip-ments,” he said adding no patient will be treated till these demands are not fulfilled.

Giving clean chit to striking doctors, Minister of State for Health, Aasiya Naqash said that it were people who vandalized the hospital and they will be taken to task. “I have talked to SSP Srinagar and have directed him to book the culprits. Doctors are innocent and they can’t vandalize the hospital equipments themselves,” she said and termed the allegations baseless that any female pa-tient was molested in the hospital. She even said that Medical Superintendent JVC was also roughed up by the ‘culprits’, a charge denied by the family members of the woman victim. 

Meanwhile, the police head from Bemina police post Waseem Ahmed tsaid that only court can bail out the ac-cused. “The accused is on police remand and a case vide FIR number 200/2015 under section 354A already stands registered against him,” he said. (CNS)   

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