Half of SKIMS, GMC Faculties Enjoying Holidays, Patients Suffer

Srinagar: With senior doctors of Kashmir hospitals enjoying winter holidays, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said that absence of doctors in tertiary care hospitals, at a difficult time of the year, is adding to the woes of patients.

President DAK, Dr Nisar ul Hassan, in a statement said that holidays of doctors are compounding the miseries of patients.

“Winter vacation of doctors has severely affected the healthcare system and patients bear the brunt,” he said, “Winter brings more patients to hospitals and they are left uncared as doctors are holidaying. Despite huge problems faced by public due to acute shortage of doctors in hospitals, the doctors are allowed a winter break of two months.”

Dr Hassan said that it was “ironical that doctors are allowed to go en-masse at a time when their services are needed the most”.

“Out of 162 faculty members at SKIMS hospital, half goes on vacation in January and the other half goes in February,” he informed. “At GMC and associated hospitals, the faculty strength of 234 suddenly falls to half during winter.”

“We fail to understand, how a number that is already inadequate will suffice when it is reduced to half,” he exclaimed.

The DAK president added that there are departments like cardiology and neurology which are left with a single person. “This is the reason for increase in deaths among heart attack and stroke patients in hospitals during winter. Some departments like CVTS, oncology, haematology, and neurosurgery are without a consultant.”

“The emergency patients are handled by postgraduate students who find it difficult to cope with the rush of patients and cannot deal with complicated cases. Patients are referred from far-off places to tertiary care hospitals for specialist care and they end up being seen by trainees. The procedures are delayed and the planned surgeries are not held in winter,” he further said.

“Doctors in tertiary care hospitals want an end to this practice of winter vacation, but they are forced to avail it by way of a government order,” he said.

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