S TAHIR-UL HAQ
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Feb 6: The Jammu and Kashmir government is mulling banning private practices of government doctors in the newly created Union Territory to improve the functioning of hospitals, at the same time patients were get treated from choicest doctors outside of government hospitals, while as many hospitals across the valley are still understaffed.
Recently Health and Medical Education Department of J&K govt issued an order to all the principals of government medical colleges, Union Territory of J&K, vide no: ME-GAZ-161/2019 Dated 22/01/2020, that reads request for imposing ban on private practice of doctors.
"I am directed to forward herewith a copy of communication no: LGS-1 (GR) 2019/7834 Dated 22/11/2019, from Lieutenant Governor's Secretariat, Jammu and Kashmir, Raj Bhawan, Jammu, regarding the subject cited above and request you to kindly furnish your comments views in the matter", reads an order copy that is in possession of early Times.
However, the decision of the government to ban the private practice by government doctors has evoked a mixed reaction, "much was earlier said about the ban on private practice of doctors, because most of them were charging high for simple surgery, or even for consultation, said sources.
"Yet nobody has banned the revenue officials like Pathwari to make the revenue documents at his home for which he/she is charging high which one can't afford, nobody has banned engineers to draft site plans at home for which they are charging amount worth thousands and lakhs, then why only doctors", sources observed.
Sources said, it has been seen that, the medical professors anywhere in India are getting monthly salary of Rs 3.5 lakh, while in J&K they almost get nearly Rs 1.5- 1.80 lakh only, though the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been turned now into two separate UTs, and this disparity should be removed to retain quality doctors in the government sector.
Shahnawaz Hussain, a local chemist from Srinagar area said that, our business will suffer a lot, if govt will put a ban on private practice of government doctors.
"Usually we were charging Rs 200 for consultations for two visits, and besides that we were selling the medicine which was prescribed by the doctors, it is not only the chemists, pharmacy companies, the medical representatives and other people associated with the medical businesses will also hit badly, said another chemist near Shari Maharaja Singh Hospital (SMHS) Srinagar".
Bashir Ahmad a local resident from Baramulla said that, It is good if govt will put a blanket ban on private practice of government doctors, but the fact is that, we were getting our choicest consultations, there is nothing in government hospitals as most of the hospitals across the JK are still understaffed, they are lacking of infrastructure, well advanced equipments; only then patients can take benefit of it.
There is a mushroom growth of clinics, hoarding of developments are less, but nameplates of clinics with specific doctors are in every nook and corners of the JK Union Territory, government should compensate doctors with good pay and increments.