t appears like the nineteenth century Russian middle class feared Siberia, Kashmiri doctors fear working in the sprawling countryside. Every now and then, doctors, on whose training the establishment has spent around five million rupees, are finding loopholes in the existing medical service rules to dodge their postings in the countryside hospitals. The result is that the district and the sub-district hospitals in the UT are without the doctors and the ones present find it their holy duty to refer patients to the hospitals of the summer capital at the drop of a hat.
The order issued by the establishment last year to the doctors to either join their places of posting or to opt out of the services and continue their research was a welcome move, but the unfortunate part is that no much due concentration is given to the order on ground.
Jammu and Kashmir is among the few places in the country where private practice of doctors is allowed. There have been many complaints of doctors preferring to treat patients in their private clinics rather in government hospitals. There should be a bold step aimed at improving the functioning of government hospitals and medical colleges across the Union Territory and for making doctors more accessible for the patients.
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The last year’s order was passed in gauging between someone’s Right to Education and someone’s Right to Life- it does not take an Einstein to understand which one takes precedence. How unethical it is on the part of the doctors to go for dubious internships and higher studies when their primary job is to save lives of patients in the countryside.
The doctors need to be reminded about the vows they have taken to save humanity. The doctors should not be allowed to wear the cloak of avowed careerists who can bypass all the frantic happenings in the district and sub-district hospitals in their absence and worry about their career only.
Establishments order such whips but when it came to the actual implementation the influential doctors proved a hard nut to crack. We hope the current establishment means what it says is followed in letter and spirit.