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SKIMS crisis resolved, Govt to increase stipend of Junior doctors: Minister

SKIMS crisis resolved, Govt to increase stipend of Junior doctors: Minister
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Srinagar: With patient care remaining affected at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura for 6th consecutive day due to the indefinite strike of resident doctors on Wednesday, the Minister for Health and Medical Education, Devinder Kumar Manyal said that the crisis will douse down within two days, as the Health Ministry has sanctioned the hike in stipend for Junior as well as Senior Resident Doctors to restore order at the hospital.

In an exclusive conversation with ‘Kashmir Vision’ Manyal said that he was aware of the crisis that has been engulfing the premier institute of the state for  a week now, and the government was doing whatever it could to bring everything back to the normal.

“The demands of the medicos are genuine, I know how hard they have to work, they deserve the hike in the stipend and we are seriously giving it a thought,” he said.

With many accusing medicos at SKIMS of playing politics in the hospital by going on indefinite strike, the Minister said “I being from the same profession know how hard one has to work and whatever they are demanding is just and they deserve that much, I am with them when it comes to genuine demands.”

While assuring the crisis at SKIMS will be over within a day or two, he said that the Health Ministry has taken a decision of sanctioning the hike in favour of Senior as well as Junior Residents, “but the decision is to be accorded sanction by the finance ministry,” he said.

“The Health Ministry has taken the decision of according stipend hikes in favour of Senior as well as Junior Residents—in case senior residents it has been already done—the file has been sent to the Finance Ministry for the sanction, which should be done in a day or two,” he said.

In his appeal to the medicos, the Minister said that the doctors should not resort to strike to press for their demands, and for now, should call off their strike as their demands are being addressed.

“Strike is not for doctors, they have to think of common masses that depend on them, and by now, they should call of their strike and resume their duties,” he said, adding “as far their demands are concerned, we are on it.”

Pertinently, more than 500 resident doctors have remained off their duties demanding the restoration of their pay bands that were slashed by the authorities in 2001. The protesting doctors are also insisting on timely release of their arrears that are pending since January 2001.

With doctors remaining off their duties, the patient care at the premier hospital has taken a hit with only consultants remaining to take care of the huge patient rush thronging the hospital. So far, several surgeries and high-end procedures were also delayed.

Earlier, Director SKIMS Dr Omar Javaid Shah had informed ‘Kashmir Vision’ that the administration had formed a proposal aimed at taking care of the rest of the demands of the striking doctors, however, he had maintained that such things do take time and had also advised the striking doctors to resume their duties.

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