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`Substandard’ PPE: Over 50 doctors petition Director SKIMS for reinstatement of sacked colleague

Srinagar: More than 50 resident doctors of SKIMS Medical College, Bemina, have written to the administration seeking revocation of the termination order of a junior resident.

SKIMS Medical College Bemina had terminated the services of junior resident Asif Ali Bhat for allegedly demanding standard personal protection equipment (PPEs).


The letter addressed to Director SKIMS has more than 50 signatories including junior residents, senior residents, and Post-Graduate residents. They have demanded the revocation of the relieving order against their colleague at the earliest.

“The resident has worked to the best of his capabilities during the COVID crisis,” read the letter.

The doctors said the residents have been demanding standard PPE from since the hospital was designated as COVID Hospital.

“We brought the matter to the notice of both Medical Superintendent as well as the principal,” the letter read.

According to the letter, the principal had “threatened” them on the very first day of the duty.

“We were not provided with the same PPEs as demonstrated before our duties. Their usage can expose us to high-risk infections. Consequently, this led to a strike of doctors and paramedics,” it says.

Doctors said the sacked junior resident had delivered his night duty wearing the same sub-standard PPE on April 17. “He represented all of us and demanded standard PPE in front of more than 20 residents from In-charge stores Dr. Imtiyaz, who was, in turn, rude in his behavior resulting in an argument,” the letter says.

The document mentions that sacked doctor later apologized to Dr. Imtiyaz.

“The false allegation made by the Principal against our resident is misleading and completely baseless. We strongly condemn his false statement,” it says.

President Doctors of Association of Kashmir (DAK) Dr. Suhail Naik said the letter stands testimony to the fact that the charges labeled against the junior resident is false.

“The fundamental rights of the doctors cannot be comprised like this. What else would you need to prove his innocence? His colleagues have given their statements in support of the junior resident,” Dr. Suhail said.

Principal SKIMS Medical College, Bemina, Dr. Riyaz Untoo said whoever tries to derail the discipline of the hospital, will face the music.

“First things first, there is a difference between relieving and termination.  His tenure engagement has been relieved. Second, he had thrashed a senior faculty member. Such behavior in the hospital cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Asked if any inquiry was set up before the decision was taken he said “I won’t comment on this. We cannot divulge all details to the media.”