Srinagar: Faculty members of the Surgical Oncology Department of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Tuesday submitted mass resignations to protest against alleged harassment and bullying by some senior faculty members who they accused of being responsible for thwarting the smooth functioning of this premier health care facility.
A letter circulated to the media and despatched to the Governor and Chief Minister alleges the founder of the facility Dr Altaf Gauhar Haji and other officials of the department were being abused and bullied by some senior faculty members particularly HOD General Surgery (Prof Khurshid Alam) and HOD Neurosurgery (Prof Altaf Ramzan).
Owing to the massive influx of cancer patients, the department in 2014 began many outreach programs in district hospitals to screen patients at an early stage and treat low risk cancers in these hospitals, the letter reads. Hundreds of patients were screened and operated at district hospitals without even a single death till the last quarter of 2016.
The letter says the government nominated HOD General Surgery (Prof Khurshid Alam) and HOD Neurosurgery (Prof Altaf Ramzan) as members of governing body and apical selection committee respectively seemingly with the intention of improving medical care in the SKIMS. Unfortunately the authorities ignored to have a look at the integrity and service record of these officials as they have been instrumental in destabilizing the administration of SKIMS, the letter alleges. After taking over as governing body members they started bullying the present administrative head of the SKIMS and ran a parallel administration. They are even using the platform of faculty forum to create a wave of hatred against our department.
The letter further reads: Since the date of our joining, we have made various representations to the administration and government regarding the sufferings of cancer patients due to shortage of theatre slots. But unfortunately no progress has been made so far and many of our patients have either been forced to seek treatment outside the state or they have become inoperable. The Theatre User Committee tasked with rationalizing the Operation Theatre slots is being run by these officials at their own sweet will. They gave misleading information to the house during the last governing body meeting held in October 2016 under the chairmanship of Ms Mehbooba Mufti.
The faculty further alleges the visiting doctors from outside were disallowed to treat cancer patients. Since we have been victimized right from the day of inception of this department in many different ways, we are now completely exhausted, disillusioned and psychologically traumatized, the faculty said in the letter. Under these circumstances, we feel that we should follow the footsteps of our HOD and resign from active services of this Institute.
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