Patient care hit in SMHS as doctors seeking security go on strike

The patient care in Valley’s premier Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital has been badly affected as Resident and Post Graduate (PG) doctors seeking security cover are on strike from past three days after a medico was beaten up by a mob over death of a patient last week.
On intervening night of December 17 and 18, a 75-year-old patient with chronic kidney disease, myocardial infarction with cardiogenic shock on mechanical ventilation expired in Ward 9 of the In Patient Department (IPD) of SMHS. The attendants of the patient thrashed the doctors on duty for their alleged negligence while a body of medicos’ blamed the “administrative lapses” for the death.
The medicos’ body, Resident Doctors Association (RDA) said the mob “mercilessly thrashed the doctors on duty and beat them to pulp for administrative lapses of the hospital like non availability of trolleys, monitors in wards etc”. Since the incident the doctors are on strike in the SMHS hospital and are demanding security under a comprehensive plan for them.
Due to strike, hundreds of patients in the hospital’s IPD wards are suffering while the Out Patient Department (OPD) section, which is thronged by hundreds of patients, mostly from remote areas, has also come to a halt. However, the emergency services were restored yesterday after negotiations between doctors and administration.
RDA president, Dr Aadil Ashraf said their strike is against the continued beating and harassment incidents of doctors and paramedics by mobsters due to alleged lapses of administration and poor healthcare services.  ”Our main and basic demand is fool-proof security. Every time we are manhandled and beaten for none of our faults. Our strike would continue till the administration doesn’t provide us security cover and also take measures to improve the healthcare in the hospital,” he said.
He said they have impressed upon the authorities several times to take steps for improving the overall working atmosphere of the hospital “but our pleas have always fallen on deaf ears”. “SMHS and Associated Hospitals have become a safe heaven for drunkards and drug addicts because of lack of security measures in the hospital who have time and again been involved in vandalizing of the hospital property,” he added.
As the crisis deepen, the newly appointed Principal of the Government Medical College (GMC), Dr Kaiser and Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Srinagar intervened and sought four days time from doctors. Sources said that the top officials have assured agitating doctors of laying out a plan for fool-proof security and it was only after as a result of the assurance that the emergency services were restored. The RDA president also confirmed that the Principal GMC sought four days time but he said they won’t call of their strike till practical measures with regard to security are taken.
Medical Superintendent (MS) SMHS, Dr Nazir Chowdhary, meanwhile said they have lodged a First Information Report (FIR) with police vis-à-vis thrashing of a doctor. “We have registered an FIR and we have also accepted some of the demands of the doctors including security. There are other demands which are yet to be met,”. The MS said that they have deployed security men in the hospital and claimed that “within two days” the doctors would resume their duties. “We have already restored emergency and within two days we will restore ward services,” he added.

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