After bearing the brunt of strike by doctors for past four days, patients heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday after resident doctors resumed normal work in associated hospitals of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.
The resident doctors reported back to work at Lal Ded hospital, GB Pant Children, SMHS and other hospitals this morning. An official at the GMC said 95 of the doctors including postgraduate students, public service commission (PSC)-confirmed registrars and non-PSC registrars reported to their duties today.
He said a report regarding resumption of duties by the resident doctors was forwarded to health and medical education department following which suspension, termination and repatriation orders under order No 206 of 2018 were cancelled "in toto"
Principal GMC Prof Samia Rashid said the doctors have completely called off the strike as per the "conditions laid down". "No doctor is on strike now," she said, adding that the OPD, IPD and other services were functioning normally now.
The president Resident Doctors Association (RDA), Dr Irfan Qayoom said the doctors resumed work after government "agreed" to address their demands including removal of pay disparity. "They (administration) have agreed to give us benefits of 7th pay commission; non-practicing allowances (NPA) is under consideration for senior residents and pay of house surgeons has been increased to Rs 48000," he said.
He said although there were no written assurances, but the Governor NN Vohra and principal secretary health gave "verbal assurances" to the striking doctors.
Dr Qayoom said heads of department of pediatrics and medicine played "an important role" in negotiations between the doctors and authorities.
Resident doctors had gone on an indefinite strike on 3 July in protest against apathy of government towards addressing their demands including removal of pay anomaly. The move had forced the government to invoke essential services maintenance act (ESMA) following which 36 doctors were terminated, suspended or repatriated to their parent departments.
The official said all patient services were functional today. At LD hospital, normal ante-natal and pre-natal services were started, while surgeries resumed at SMHS and Bone and Joint hospitals. At GB Pant and Chest Diseases hospitals too, normal patient services were available today, hospital officials said.