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Holidays row: Medico body, government at loggerheads

Holidays row: Medico body, government at loggerheads
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Srinagar: With the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) asking doctors and rest of the medical staff not to abstain from work on holidays, Doctors’ Association of Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday said that the government is using pressure tactics and that doctors will avail the holidays at all costs.

“We are just availing the holidays and in no way are we on any kind of strike, as government employees, it is our right and we are exercising the same,” President DAK Dr Suhail Naik told ‘Kashmir Vision’.

Dr Naik said that the government is using pressure tactics in order to ‘cow us down’.

“We have never let anyone die and neither have we refused to treat anyone, because the emergency services are on 24 hours even on the holidays,” he said.

Pertinently, DAK and Jammu and Kashmir Doctors’ Coordination Committee (JKDCC) have put forth several demands to the government a month ago, the list also includes demand for allowing doctors to avail state holidays. The medicos have said that if the state holidays are not sanctioned for medicos then they should be adequately compensated for that.

President DAK said that they have time and again informed the Directorate and the government that if the doctors are not availing the holidays, then, they should be compensated for the same.

“But the government has failed to take any steps in this regard,” he said, adding though other health employees “are getting duly compensated financially for the same.”

While acknowledging the demands put forth by the medico bodies, the government on June 1 this year, accorded sanction to the constitution of a committee under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education Department to examine the demands put forth by the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) and J&K Doctors Coordination Committee( DCC).

The Committee was mandated to examine demands of DAK and DCC like Ordinance for violence against doctors/para-medics, Caderization of consultants, medical officers/dental surgeons, Rectification of pay anomaly, Two-and-half-day salary, Risk allowance, Rural allowance, Restoration of seniority, Rationalization of postings and Revision of time-bound promotions etc.  The Committee was asked to furnish its recommendations to the Government within a period of one month.

Notably, the committee formed is expected to come up with the recommendations on July 1 and which actually might lay the relief for the general public and the doctors particularly. Sources, however, are telling that the government may not consider all the demands put forth by the medicos.

“Not all but some demands may be considered, and the medico bodies will have to call it a day and accept what is offered to them,” sources privy to developments said.

A statement issued from the DHSK on Tuesday, asking doctors to ensure patient care at the hospitals even on holidays, said “the Government has already constituted a high-level committee to look into the demands of the doctors, but suo-moto they (doctors) cannot start deviating from the established and adopted practices of patient care and abstain from work on gazetted holidays.”

“DAK deferred the proposed strike programme which had to commence from June 20—to press for  several demands—after a high level committee which was formed by Health Minister but we will avail the holidays,” Dr Naik said.

The authorities on Tuesday also impressed upon the doctors that they should make themselves available on the holidays so that the public does not suffer.

“It is as such impressed upon all the doctors to make available their services to the needy patients as per the past practice till Government decides upon the various issues raised by them. Any misconduct, absenteeism, strike or non-attending of duties in this regard shall be dealt under the relevant laws and rules,” notification by DHSK said.



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