Oppn stages walkout over Govt’s failure to resolve SKIMS issue

Opposition MLAs protesting in the Legislative Assembly over SKIMS issue on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Opposition MLAs protesting in the Legislative Assembly over SKIMS issue on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Health Minister again comes under sharp criticism from ruling parties’ MLAs

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 11: Legislative Assembly today witnessed ruckus over failure of the Government to resolve the issue which has led to strike in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and improve the functioning of health institutions across the State.

Click here to watch video
While entire Opposition staged walkout after holding massive protest, the Members of ruling parties created embarrassment for the Health Minister through their utterances. One MLA of the PDP also staged walkout after brief protest in the House.
“The Health Minister had assured the House that the issue which led to strike in the SKIMS would be resolved in a day or two to ensure smooth functioning of the prestigious institute but he has done nothing to resolve the crisis”, said National Conference MLAs Abdul Majeed Bhat (Larmi) and Ishfaq Jabbar soon after the House assembled this morning.
It is pertinent to mention here that in protest against the Government’s decision to attach Director of the SKIMS Soura the faculty members of the Institute as well as Residents Doctors have gone on strike thereby leaving adverse impact on the patient care.
The NC MLA from Ganderbal informed the House that one person from his constituency has lost life for want of timely treatment in SKIMS where he was shifted following cardiac arrest. Had timely treatment been provided to him he would have not lost his life, he added.
Joining the issue, NC MLA from Kangan Mian Altaf Ahmed said, “strike in SKIMS has badly hit the patient care but the Government has maintained criminal silence over the issue”. “This House has the right to know from the Government the specific reasons behind attachment of Director, who unlike three faculty members was not involved in private practice”, he added.
“If anybody is doing private practice he should be taken to task but the Government should explain why Director was attached”, another NC MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar asked.
On this, Health Minister Bali Bhagat said, “the situation in SKIMS is not grim as is being projected by the Opposition MLAs”. He claimed that Government was making efforts to resolve the issue. However, the protest from the entire Opposition continued with some members of the National Conference entering the Well of the House.
After massive protest and sloganeering, entire Opposition staged walkout. Before leaving the House, some members of National Conference, while pointing towards the Health Minister said, “you are destroying the institutions like SKIMS”.
In the meanwhile, PDP MLA from Karnah Raja Manzoor Ahmad started protesting against dismal healthcare scenario in his constituency and denial of opportunity by the Speaker to raise the issue. “How unfortunate it is that Government has not prepared any proposal for establishment of separate child and maternity hospital at Karnah”, he rued, adding “the Minister has also failed to get the posts of Consultant Gynecologist and Consultant Surgeon filled in the Sub-District Hospital Tangdar”.
Though Health Minister Bali Bhagat tried to calm the agitating MLA yet the latter expressed complete dissatisfaction over the reply furnished by the Minister and staged walkout creating embarrassment for the Government.
BJP MLA from Ramban Neelam Langeh also gave vent to his anger against the Health Minister and said, “the people are being allowed to die for want of basic healthcare facilities”. He highlight several shortcomings confronting the main hospital in Ramban and said, “in the absence of adequate facilities in the Ramban the patients are being shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu but I am sorry to say that condition of GMC is not much better than the District Hospital Ramban”.
Joining the issue, State president of BJP and MLA from Jammu West Sat Sharma mocked at Health Minister by saying: “It seems today is also a bad day for the Minister”.
“But being a public representative it is our duty to bring to fore the shortcomings in the healthcare system”, he said, adding “generally surgeons don’t remain available in Sarwal Hospital and the prevailing situation is creating difficulties in conducting operations during emergencies”.
He hoped that Health Minister will take corrective measures.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here