Srinagar, Apr 18: The Surgical Oncology faculty members of SK Institute of Medical Science on Tuesday submitted mass resignation to protest against what they termed as the ‘victimized right’ by the officials.
The faculty submitted a memorandum before the Governor and Chief Minister, a copy that lies with the Kashmir News Service (KNS) reads:
Department of Surgical Oncology was started by our senior colleague Dr Altaf Gauhar Haji in 2011 who left his job and family behind in England with sole intention of starting this cancer surgery services in state. He pursued and convinced us to leave our previous jobs and join hands with him in this mission.
We eagerly joined hands with him and followed his suit as it was a common goal amongst us to serve our community. But unfortunately since the time we have joined, we have been abused and bullied from time and again, and main role in this was played by HOD General Surgery (Prof Khurshid Alam) and HOD Neurosurgery (Prof Altaf Ramzan).
In 2014, seeing the massive influx of cancer patients dying in waiting list, our dep’t initiated a new strategy and we proposed to the then CM regarding starting outreach programmes in district hospitals to screen cancer at early stage and treat low risk cancers in these hospitals and at the same time to train the general surgeons in these hospitals. This initiative was widely lauded and proved to be a great success and till last quarter of 2016 hundreds of patients were screened and operated at district hospitals without even a single death.
Incidentally last year Govt. nominated HOD General Surgery (Prof Khurshid Alam) and HOD Neurosurgery (Prof Altaf Ramzan) as members of Governing body and apical selection committee respectively, probably with the intention that being in service members they could contribute in upliftment of SKIMS. But unfortunately Govt. forgot to go into the depth to explore the integrity and service record of these persons. It will be worth mentioning here that these people have always played a massive role in destabilizing the administration of SKIMS. After taking over as governing body members they started bullying the present administrative head of SKIMS and ran a parallel administration. They are even using the platform of Faculty forum to create a wave of hatred against our dep’t.
Since the date of our joining, we have made various representations to administration and to the Govt. regarding the sufferings of cancer patients due to shortage of theatre slots. But unfortunately no progress has been made so far and many of our patients have either been forced to seek treatment outside state or they have become inoperable. It’s notable to say that these very people are leading the theater users committee, a body which is supposed to rationalize the use of OT slots so that most needy departments are accommodated on priority. It is unfortunate that in the previous governing body meeting held in October 2016 under the chairmanship of Ms Mehbooba Mufti, our cancer outreach programme was shot down by these two members, by providing misleading information to the house. It was shocking and demotivating for me and my team as the same project was appreciated by two ex CMs (Late Mr Mufti Syed sb and Mr Omar Abdullah). It is notable to mention here that expert from outside state have come all the way to Kashmir to treat pellet victims, but unfortunately we are not allowed to do the same at our home.
Since we have been victimized right from the days of inception of this dep’t in different ways, we are now completely exhausted, dis-illusioned and psychologically traumatized. In view of all this, we feel hostility in the Institute for growth and independent development of our department. We cannot survive in this hostile atmosphere and cannot see our patients dying in waiting for their turn to get operated. Under these circumstances, we feel that we should follow the footsteps of our HOD (Dr Altaf Gauhar Haji). In view of all this we have been pushed to the edge and are forced to resign from active services of this Institute. (KNS)