SRINAGAR : Come winter, senior doctors at Kashmir hospitals go for two-month-long winter holidays leaving patients to fend for themselves, said Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday in a communiqué.
“Patients suffer immensely due to long winter holidays of doctors,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“It is that time of the year again when senior doctors abandon their places of work to evade the harsh winter of the valley and go on sojourn within and outside the country,” he said.
DAK President said every year, faculty at tertiary care hospitals go for two month winter vacation leaving patients in extremely difficult conditions.
“Out of 162 faculty members at SKIMS hospital, half goes on vacation in January and the other half in February. At GMC Srinagar and its associated hospitals, the faculty strength of 234 suddenly falls to half in winter,” he informed.
Dr Nisar said as doctors go on leave, there is problem in conducting outpatient and inpatient services in hospitals.
He said hundreds of patients, every day turn up at these hospitals from far-flung areas only to be told that their doctors are on leave. Planned surgeries are cancelled and procedures are further delayed
“In the absence of senior doctors, hospitals are run by junior doctors who find it difficult to cope with rush of patients and are unable to handle complicated cases,” Dr Nisar said.
He said winter brings more patients to hospitals and they are left uncared as doctors are holidaying.
“The number of heart attack and stroke patients doubles in winter and there is increased mortality among these patients due to non-availability of senior doctors in hospitals,” said Dr Nisar.
He said that absence of senior doctors from work is also responsible for increase in number of flu deaths, adding that senior doctors are in knowledge of this, but prefer holidays over patient care.
Dr Nisar said despite huge inconvenience faced by public due to shortages of doctors in hospitals, they are allowed for a winter break. “It is ironical that faculty of premier hospitals are allowed to leave en masse at a time when their services are needed most,” he said.