‘Despite blanket ban, SKIMS doctors continue private practice’

'Medicos prescribe patients to visit their private clinics'

doctor

Nadeem Mir
Srinagar: The valley’s healthcare system most of the times hits headlines for all the bad reasons be it poor facilities, lack of staff or allegations of molestation bids by senior health officials. Even the valley’s super specialty hospital, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute Medical Sciences (SKIMS) is not an exception.

This tertiary care hospital, which remains the last hope of the critical patients, has become a paradise for doctors to flout the norms. The top doctors are mostly busy in private practice and skip the official duty for which they are being paid hefty salaries from public exchequer.

Despite receiving non-practicing allowances (NPA) from the state exchequer, around 50 medicos in a brazen violation of government orders continue their private practice despite a government ban.

“Six HODs, 10 Professors are indulging in private practice in addition to Associate and Assistant Professors of the Institute,” official sources say.

“These medicos are being paid a hefty amount of Rs 20,000 to 22,000 NPA per month, but they continue their private practice which in turn affects the smooth functioning of the institute. Sometimes the shortage of doctors forces the patients to take to streets and create chaos in the hospital,” sources said.

It has been also learnt that these doctors write prescription on plain papers, which don’t carry their names and other details, and later see patients very early in the morning to avoid any trouble.

“These doctors at the time of joining have sworn in their affidavits that they accept all the SKIMS rules and will not indulge in practice which stands banned,” a junior doctor said.

There are also allegations that some doctors see patients at their private clinics and do their surgeries and tests at SKIMS on the priority basis while the common people are left fuming.

“Those doctors who are receiving NPA can’t do private practice. But we don’t have any such methods to remain informed who is doing after or before the office hours,” a top officail said.

The government had imposed a blanket ban on the private practice of doctors at SKIMS after the latter launched an agitation demanding they should be treated at par with their counterparts from AIIMS, New Delhi, vis-a-vis salary and other benefits. (PTK)

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