Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat informed the Legislative Assembly that the Government will take appropriate steps to end the ongoing strike in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura.

While responding to the point raised by M Y Tarigami and Mian Altaf Ahmed regarding the strike of SKIMS doctors in the Legislative Assembly today, the Minister informed the House that the Government had placed three senior faculty members of SKIMS under suspension and attached its Director with the GAD following violating the norms.

He said as per the SKIMS norms, no doctor can practice privately, as they are being paid a non-practicing allowance. Since, they (doctors) were found violating the norms, and Government initiated disciplinary action against them, said the Minister.

Appreciating the concern of the Members regarding the disturbance of healthcare services in the SKIMS due to the on-going strike, the Minister said that all essential services including, OPD and surgeries are going smoothly and assured the House that the Government will not allow hampering the services and address the issue soon.

Despite repeated claims of the government to strengthen health sector in the state, majority of the primary health centers in rural areas of the Kashmir Valley are in horrific conditions. Most of the primary health centers in rural areas lack qualified medical and paramedical staff, equipment, beds, labs and blood banks.

Tertiary care hospitals are forced to play the role of primary health care and take care of minor surgeries. Patients from rural areas have to come to the city for treatment, even for minor ailments. This is a lot of pressure on the tertiary hospitals which are basically meant for advance care. – Free Press Kashmir 

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