Srinagar, Nov 18: Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam Sunday said the functioning of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura involves larger social issue linked to the public healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The immediate concern of the Governor’s Administration is to restore the stature of this premier institution so that it comes up as a research-oriented healthcare facility,” Chief Secretary said at a meeting with the staff, faculty and administration of the institute during his visit to SKIMS, on the last leg of his 3-Day tour to Kashmir, on Sunday.
He asked the SKIMS administration to focus on improving professional and academic stature of this premiere teaching, training, research and healthcare institution for which he assured liberal financial assistance from the Government.
“While we have finest and talented medical professionals available in SKIMS, the need is to just think out of box to bring it up as a world class tertiary care facility,” he said and assured that funds are not an issue for the government. “SKIMS shall not suffer for want of funds. But don’t be incremental. Think big and think grand, we in the government are there to support you,” he maintained.
Chief Secretary observed that while infrastructure upgradation is critical to providing improved healthcare facilities, there should be matching thrust on advancement of academic and research activities at the Institute. “There has to be renewed focus on streamlining SKIMS functioning to secure the trust and esteem of the public at large and all stakeholders,” he said and added that to achieve these objectives it has to be ensured that the services and the quality of healthcare are significantly improved and there is regular flow of information about the outcomes in academics and research at SKIMS.
Chief Secretary asked SKIMS administration to focus on tertiary care and set up a process for screening of patients at district level before they are referred to SKIMS. “You can set up Outreach Clinics in districts to reduce the load of patients while focussing on promoting more research with external funding and capacity building in medical care,” he said adding; “Like Saifi Hospital in Mumbai, the aim of SKIMS administration should be to chisel a world class institution which caters to patients across the Middle East and other countries,” he said.
“This institution serves a noble cause. It has a glorious history, the credit for which goes to all of you. There is a sense of pride among people working here who are comparable to the best in the country. And we in the government are committed to develop SKIMS as a world class institution,” he said and suggested various initiatives to be taken to upgrade healthcare facilities at the Institute including filling up all vacant faculty positions in a time-bound manner, setting research targets for the Faculty, setting up Department of Clinical Research, involving SKIMS in the training of staff from Health Services institutions in the peripheries, deputing clinicians/staff from SKIMS periodically to various medical institutions of eminence like AIIMS New Delhi/PGI Chandigarh for capacity building and setting up new and much-needed super-specialties so that patients do not have to travel long distances for treatment.
Chief Secretary remarked that the matter of referring files regarding the infrastructure development and other issues at SKIMS to the civil secretariat frequently must stop. “The interface of the SKIMS with the government should be limited to Governing Body meetings. We will explore ways for delegation of financial powers and restructuring of various committees for making SKIMS a truly autonomous institution,” he said.
Chief Secretary also visited wards, some facilities and interacted with the faculty of different departments whom he complimented for their dedication and untiring efforts to provide best possible healthcare facilities to common people.
Director SKIMS Umar Javed Shah, administrative officers of the tertiary care facility and senior faculty members of the institution also accompanied the Chief Secretary during his visit.
During the interaction with the administration and the faculty, the Chief Secretary was informed about the limitations of the institution at different levels including shortages of equipment, medicines and surgical disposable, and space.
He asked the Director SKIMS to prepare a comprehensive list of departments, existing position of doctors and equipment, space requirement and other requirements, and project it to the government. The Director SKIMS was also directed to prepare a separate note for requirements to start work at State Cancer Institute (SCI) and Maternity Hospital.
“In the next fifteen days, the state share for SCI will be released. The government is looking forward to start the SIC by 1 April 2019,” he said, while promising to examine the implementation of the SRO 283 which governs the recruitment rules at the institution.
Earlier, Director SKIMS gave a brief presentation about the functioning of SKIMS, a deemed university which is involved in patient care and research. He said the SKIMS cater to population of 12 million with bed strength of 806. During their interaction, the faculty spoke about the shortage of staff and sought the CS’s intervention in relaxation of recruitment rules.
The Chief Secretary promised them that the government will examine their demands considerately.
Crackdown launched on illegal selling of tobacco products in Srinagar
Crackdown launched on illegal selling of tobacco products in Srinagar
Srinagar, Jun 25: The Srinagar administration Tuesday launched a city-wide crackdown on illegal sale of cigarettes among other tobacco products holding simultaneous inspections of markets in various areas.
The inspections were held in the wake of growing concerns about increasing prevalence of substance abuse in Srinagar and to verify adherence to the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act or COTPA 2003 which prohibits advertisement of and provides for regulation of trade and commerce in production and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Large number of stores and vendors situated at different places were found selling cigarettes without the mandatory pictorial warnings on packets thereof. Huge cache of such cigarettes was also seized from various markets during the inspections.
Some 50 stores and vendors including those found selling cigarettes among other tobacco products close to schools among other educational institutions in violations of COTPA and violating other provisions thereof were booked with several of them sealed during the inspections.
It is notable that the data suggests that the annual amount spent on tobacco consumption in Srinagar is a staggering Rs 131 crore which is the highest in the State. This among other forms of substance abuse involving both genders is growing into a serious cause of concern in the district.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who has issued strict instructions to concerned officers to crackdown on violators and offenders said violations of COTPA account for serious offences and will be dealt with in the context of public safety.
Dr Shahid assured of sustained efforts to check substance abuse in Srinagar but also urged the general public and parents in particular to do their bit emphasizing their important role therein and to assist the administration in its efforts to curb prevalence thereof.
Last month a district level coordination committee comprising 15 members from different departments and organisations was constituted in the district for the implementation of COTPA.
Different members of the committee have been assigned different roles and responsibilities for ensuring effective and functional application of tobacco control in the district.
Amit Shah should start process of dialogue with all stakeholders: Sagar
Srinagar, Jun 25: Ahead of the visit of union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference has hoped that the central government will begin dialogue on Kashmir to restore peace in the state.
National Conference General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said that Kashmir valley is going through bloodshed, tension and arrests of youth on daily basis which further deteriorate the situation.
“Home ministers visit Kashmir, but this time we hope the visiting home minister will start process of dialogue with all stakeholders here which will help improve the situation,” he said.
He said that the daily pensive situation, ongoing bloodshed, and arrests of youth will stop only through initiatives of peace through dialogue.
“We hope the visit of home minister should make difference in Kashmir situation. If the home minister starts any dialogue process to which will improve situation here, we welcome it,” he said.
Expressing the displeasure with the Reservation Bill brought up the home minister, Sage said that NC is against the procedure which was adopted by the central government.
“The procedure adopted by the centre government to bring the bill violation of article 370. We are not against reservation for any particular section of people. We are against the procedure adopted by the government,” he said.
He said that Member Parliament of National Conference Dr Farooq Abdullah will take a stand over the bill in the ongoing session of Parliament.
Amit Shah should inaugurate a new era of engagement in Kashmir: Faesal
Srinagar, Jun 25: President J&K Peoples Movement Shah Faesal has said that on his maiden visit to Kashmir as Home Minister, Amit Shah should inaugurate a new age of engagement and reach out to people of the State.
In a statement issued, Shah Faesal said that Central Government led by PM Narendra Modi has an extraordinary opportunity to take bold decisions on Kashmir and bring peace to Valley while taking all stakeholders on board.
He argued for initiation of dialogue process, resumption of Cross LoC trade, freeing of political prisoners who are in jails for minor offenses, among other political initiatives needed at this hour.
Shah Faesal also called for immediate implementation of Universal Basic Income scheme for BPL households of the State, age relaxation of UPSC/JEE IIT aspirants from J&K State, improvement of inter-provincial road connectivity and four-laning if Srinagar-Salamabad, Srinagar-Teetwal roads.
JKPM President expressed hope that the Home Minister would facilitate creation of an environment of peace in which developmental activity and will pick up and Tourism potential of the State will be harnessed.