Patients turned away, surgeries cancelled as SKIMS resident doctors go on strike

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Patients visiting Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura on Saturday had a harrowing time at the facility after both outpatient and casualty departments remained closed due to a strike by the resident doctors. 
Dated procedures and investigations have also been cancelled due to the strike.
The resident doctors association (RDA) of SKIMS called for an indefinite strike on Friday against non-fulfillment of their demands regarding removal of pay anomaly.
The strike has affected all hospital facilities, including emergency, resulting in inconvenience to patients, many of whom had come from far off places to seek treatment.
Many patients admitted at SKIMS for surgeries were discharged due to shortage of doctors, a source at the hospital said. 
Medical superintendent SKIMS Soura, Dr Farooq Jan said that a roaster of faculty members had been put in place to cater to critical areas of the hospital but confirmed that many surgeries had been cancelled. “It is a difficult time,” he said.  
A senior doctor at SKIMS said that it was for the first time that emergency block of SKIMS had been closed. “Emergencies were always kept functional in the past irrespective of the strikes and other issues. People here depend on SKIMS emergency services,” he said.
A memorandum by RDA SKIMS addressed to government has insisted that the strike would continue till a written commitment in addressing their demands was not issued. 
The demands include bringing the pay band of SKIMS resident doctors at par with that of resident doctors of PGI and AIIMS, implementation of 7th pay commission recommendation and timely release of 7th pay commission arrears.
Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Javed Shah said that the demands had already been taken up with the government and it was decided that a special allowance would be paid to residents of SKIMS. “There is no justification for the strike,” he said.

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