‘Director Responsible for SKIMS Mess: Health Minister

‘Loot, underground private practice goes on’

SRINAGAR:  Taking a dig at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) management for putting patients and attendants to trouble, Health Minister Lal Singh Thursday said that he will change the picture of this premier Institute once he  takes over as the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of SKIMS.

 “I know everything that is happening in SKIMS. The present Director has created a mess there and he is feeling uneasy after he came to know about the government decision appointing me the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board. Once I will be there I will show all how to run the affairs. There is no accountability at SKIMS and patients as well as attendants are being harassed in the name of security. Despite the ban on private practice, the doctors posted in SKIMS indulge in ‘underground’ private practice. I will take all the erring doctors to task,” Singh said in an interview.

Accusing incumbent Director SKIMS of loot and mismanagement, Health Minister Lal Singh said that he will not allow anyone to loot the Jammu and Kashmir top medical institute. “I have been receiving so many complaints from the patients and attendants, how doctors are treating them and scaring them inside the wards. A Hospital is meant for the patients and if we fail to mitigate the pain and sufferings of the patients then we have no right to operate there. A patient needs to be treated well and an attendant needs to be respected,” Singh said adding that people will feel a sea change once he will take over as the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of SKIMS.

Responding to a question, Lal Singh said that he will not be the first Health Minister to take over as the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board. “By autonomy, the Director SKIMS means that he should have final say and rest should obey him. We all know the present functioning of the institute and I can tell you with authority that patients especially attendants will stop complaining once I will take over as Vice Chairman SKIMS,” he said.

Meanwhile, Former Health Minister Taj Mohiuddin said that it will be in the interest of patients and attendants to have State Health Minister as Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura. “There has been precedence of the Health Minister of the State acting as Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of SKIMS. Former Health Education Minister R.S. Chib was once the vice chairman of the Board while I did not act as vice chairman during my tenure as Health Minister as then Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather who was senior to me was already a member of the Board and on the insistence of the then Chief Minister Omar Abdulllah I did not claim  the post,” Taj said.

He said that it is not the question of subversion of autonomy of SKIMS but the question of accountability. “There is nothing new in it and it will not be the first time if Lal Singh will take over as the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of SKIMS. Chief Minister always remains busy while it is the Vice Chairman who has to take the charge,” he said.

Responding to a question Mohiuddin said that a Health Minister easily finds time to redress the complaints of patients and attendants. “The complainants whether they are patients or attendants find it difficult to contact  the Chief Minister. It will not only be easy for them but for scribes too to access the Health Minister in case of any complaint. In fact, there is lack of accountability in SKIMS and on daily basis, attendants talk about the mismanagement in the SKIMS,” he said. (CNS)


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