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J&K doctors demand hardship allowance

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 Rohit Shishodia
Doctors have pointed out that due to various hardships and anomalies in pay and allowances, doctors are leaving Jammu & Kashmir and are opting to work in other states of the country.

Resident doctors working in government hospitals in Jammu & Kashmir have demanded hardship allowance to work in militancy affected areas. This is in line with a similar allowance recommended for the J&K police.

The doctors say that the situation is such that doctors have started shifting to other parts of the country as they are paid less than their counterparts in other states.

Dr Balwinder Singh, President, Doctors Association, Jammu, has told DTMT that doctors in Jammu & Kashmir are working in terrorist-attacks prone areas (disturbed areas). “There is no protection for us. We work in remote areas of the state. We should be paid hardship allowance,” added Dr Singh.

The doctors have also raised the issue of doctors’ shortage in the state which affects the treatment of the patients. In a letter to Bali Bhagat, Health Minister, Jammu & Kashmir, the doctors association of Jammu has said that most the population of the state is deprived of treatment due to non-availability of doctors.

“So the association requests you to kindly look into pay scale anomalies. The doctors serving in far flung areas should also get hardship allowance as recommended for police,” doctors state in the letter.

Apart from the hardship allowance, the state’s doctors have also demanded implementation of the doctors protection act. They point out that most the of the states have implemented this act but Jammu & Kashimir is lagging behind.

The doctors have demanded that all the medical officers with post graduation degree should be promoted to junior consultant as there is acute shortage of doctors.

They have also sought 50 per cent reservation in new medical colleges for specialists with teaching experience which will help fill vacant faculty seats in new medical colleges.

The doctors informed that in periphery areas they do not have accommodation facilities. They do not even have duty rooms in hospitals due to which female doctors are suffering. According MCI guidelines, consultants should be provided with a room in hospitals but no such guidelines are followed in hospitals in Jammu & Kashmir.

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