Srinagar, Feb 01: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday urged the government to end the practice of winter vacation for doctors in the valley.
“Patients face immense hardships due to long winter break of doctors,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“It is ironical that senior doctors in Kashmir valley are allowed for holidaying “en masse” at a time when their services are needed the most,” he said.
“Come winter, senior doctors abandon their places of work to evade the harsh winter of the valley and go on sojourn within and outside the country.”
DAK President said every year, faculty of referral hospitals go for two month winter vacation leaving patients to fend for themselves.
“Patients are left to die due to non-availability of senior doctors during harsh winter when Kashmir remains cut-off from rest of the world,” he said adding that “hundreds of patients, every day turn up at these hospitals from far flung areas only to be told that senior doctors are on leave.”
“As doctors go on leave, there is problem in conducting outpatient and inpatient services in hospitals,” Dr Nisar said.
“Planned surgeries are cancelled and procedures are further delayed.”
“In absence of senior doctors, hospitals are run by junior doctors who find it difficult to cope with the rush of patients and are unable to handle complicated cases,” he said.
Dr Nisar said winter brings more patients to hospitals and they are left uncared as doctors are on holidays.
“The number of heart attacks and strokes doubles in winter and there is increased mortality among these patients due to non-availability of senior doctors,” he said.
“There are increased numbers of pneumonia cases and hospitals are flooded with asthmatics and chronic lung disease patients during winter.”
“There are far more fire-related cases and fair amount of accident cases due to slip or skid on icy streets,” he added.
“And, we have Covid-19 this year that is still raging and every day, many severely ill patients related to the virus continue to get admitted in hospitals.”
“Though, this winter SKIMS hospital has cancelled winter vacation for doctors in view of Covid-19 crisis, doctors at GMC Srinagar and its associated hospitals are enjoying winter holidays,” said Dr Nisar.