PULWAMA — The turmoil in Jammu & Kashmir has taken a heavy toll on all aspects of life in the state, particularly in the valley of Kashmir. Doctors and paramedical staff working in various hospitals of the valley have also faced the wrath of attendant people who flock the hospitals whenever the situation turns ugly due the persistent turmoil.

Violence against doctors in the Valley is on the rise. Nearly 80 incidents of doctors being attacked in hospitals across Kashmir following deaths of patients or lack of health facilities have been reported in the media in the last year only.

Even last day, attendants hurled Kangris towards hospital employees after a patient died in District Hospital Anantnag.

In most cases, the attendants accuse the hospital staff of medical negligence or unnecessary referral.

Given the rising incidents, we decided to talk to a few doctors and paramedics and know their side of the story.

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“Whenever we receive a patient, the attendants who come in hundreds interfere with the delivery of medical services. They don’t let us work freely,” says Tahira Rasool, a senior staff sister working in District Hospital Pulwama.

She adds, “We don’t unnecessarily refer patients to tertiary care hospitals. Referral becomes inevitable when the patient needs such a medical care which the hospital lacks. However, such patients are also provided first aid on a priority basis.”

She says that the hospital authorities take necessary action in case of a genuine complaint by the attendants. However, there is a proper way to bring it to the notice of the authorities without resorting to violence.

Dr Abdul Rashid Parra, Medical Superintendent at DH Pulwama says, “The presence of huge crowds inside the hospital at the time of emergencies makes life difficult for medical staff to deliver their services in a congested atmosphere. The triage system is also affected.”

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“Also, hospitals are designated for providing certain medical services only given the limited facilities available especially in case of district hospitals,” he adds.

Dr Iran Ul Shamas, ENT Specialist at DH Pulwama says, “To provide good services, we request all the attendants and intellectuals to tell these people not to come in hordes and let the doctors and paramedics do their job.”

A proposal was put forth by GMC Srinagar seeking a law on lines of ‘Andhra Pradesh Ordinance against the Violence on Doctors’ in J&K for protection of doctors. However, state government has been engaging in delay tactics.

It is now up to people of the valley to understand the difficult conditions in which the doctors and paramedics operate in the face of a bloody turmoil in the valley and cooperate with them for a better delivery of health services in hospitals.

Editor's Note

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