Srinagar: Patient-care at the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar and its associated hospitals came to a standstill on Tuesday, as the medics went on an indefinite strike for their demands.
Many patients at the hospitals including the Bones and Joints (B&J) and Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) struggled to find doctors.
“I came from Sopore for treatment of my abdominal pain. But I cannot find anyone here,” said a patient, Imran Ali at the SMHS Hospital.
Another patient added that in absence of doctors at SMHs, he was forced to visit the SKIMS Bemina hospital where he witnessed a chaotic situation.
“There were huge rush of patients there. One bed was occupied by multiple patients. The strike in GMC hospitals increased the pressure on SKIMS manifold,” he said
The patients at Lal Ded (LD) maternity hospital, while criticising the doctors, said it was “quite unfortunate” that the doctors did not take into account the effect of the strike on them.
“The doctors here have been getting good salaries. Strike is against their professional ethics. If they have issues, they shall take them up with the government,” said an attendant, Bashir Ahmad, who was accompanying his wife.
The doctors also staged a protest demonstration inside the GMC campus.
“In October, an order was issued to end the disparity in our salaries, but it had many discrepancies. I have been following the issue, and we have been writing to the authorities,” said Irfan Qayoom, President Doctors Association GMC.
“I and my colleague personally met with the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. Our deadline to the state expired today, so we went on the strike.”
Their demands include ending pay disparity with their SKIMS’ counterparts and making assault on doctors a non-bailable offence.