Patient care hit as NHM employees strike continues

Srinagar, Jan 29: With National Health Mission (NHM) employees continuing to press for demands, the patient care have got affected in the Valley hospitals while as the work load for regular employees has also increased, thus leaving them to suffer as well.
Sources privy to the development in the hospitals said that in view of winters, at least 20-30 percent of medicos have already went on earned leave in these months and at the same time, the protest by the NHM employees has led to heavy work load to the regular employees.
Besides causing heavy work load to the regular doctors and para-medical staff, the patient care has also got affected in the valley hospitals here as the regular doctors present in the hospitals cannot tackle the rush of patients easily, thereby causing immense hardships to the patients visiting the hospitals as well.
They added though the demands of NHM employees are genuine but strike timing by the NHM employees is not right as they should have resorted to protest during summers keeping in view of the sufferings of patients as well as the regular employees.
They added that the regular employees working the in the department are ensuring that the system must not collapse due to NHM employees strike.
Meanwhile, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) president, Dr. Suhail Naik said that the genuine demands of NHM employees should be fulfilled at an earliest, saying that the employees are pressing for their genuine demands, which must be addressed soon.
However, he urged the protesting NHM employees to exempt the emergency and night staff from the protests as it takes heavy toll on regular employees and patients visiting the hospitals.
Meanwhile, the NHM employees under the banner of National Health Mission Employees Association (NHMEA) continue to stage protest against the government for ‘failing’ to regularize them from past several years.
The employees including men and women assembled at Srinagar’s Pratap Park here and chanted slogans in favour of their demands.
The employees who continue to protest since Jan 23, demand authorities to regularize them, saying that at least 8000 employees working under NHM are being forced to face hardships as the authorities have so far failed to fulfill their demands.
Dr. Iqbal Mir, who is posted at Public Health Centre (PHC) Wakoora in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, said that recently the government appointed 900 doctors but 500 among them didn’t join their duties. “Why doesn’t the government regularize the NHM doctors instead of those 500 doctors who failed to join their duties,” he said.
He added that the NHM employees are serving the department with dedication and honesty but it is unfortunate that the government has failed to fulfill their demands.
The protesting NHM employees later vowed to continue their strike till their demands are not met.
Director Health Service Kashmir, Dr Kunzes Dolma admitted that the protest by NHM employees has led to the overburden of work on regular employees.
She said that they have written to National Health Mission authorities in this regard.
However, she said that to look into the demands of protesting employees is the domain of NHM.
Despite repeated attempts, NHM Mission Director, Dr Bhupinder Kumar didn’t take phone calls. (KNS)