State Medical Council defunct for 5 months; medical professionals suffer

We will appoint a new chairman soon: Advisor Batnagar
State Medical Council defunct for 5 months; medical professionals suffer
File photo of Advisor Bhatnagar

Srinagar, Oct 5: The J&K Medical Council is defunct since its chairman Dr Saleem- ur -Rehman completed his three-year tenure in April.

The doctors are facing hardships in getting mandatory certification while people have no avenue to get their complaints investigated and grievances redressed.

However, when contacted ,Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, advisor to Lieutenant Governor, said the government is already on the job.

“We are at it and the council will be functional soon. We will appoint a new Chairman for it,” he said.

Earlier the J&K Government in April had stated that a new body will be constituted in a month’s time. “But five months have passed since the last Chairman of the Council completed his term. The government is deferring the appointment of the Chairman for unknown reasons,” an official said.

Amid the delay in the constitution of the new Body of the Council, some medical professionals working in local private hospitals or in other countries say they are at the verge of leaving their jobs as they are not able to get their registrations done.

A medical professional working in Qatar said he may lose his job as he is not able to get his registration done from the Council.

“Earlier, I obtained one no objection certificate (NoC) from the Council but I could not produce it to the concerned office due to Covid19 Pandemic. The certificate is not valid now and I want to get a fresh NoC from the Council which has been defunct for the past five months,” he said.

“I had taken premature retirement from J&K government. Now I am not able to get the NoC which has put me in trouble,” the doctor added.

Similarly, many more pass-outs from medical institutes are without registration and verification rendering them ill-equipped to get a job or admission to an institute for higher qualification.

Notably, the Council has a mandate to register medical professionals, issue certificates of registration, vet their qualifications and degrees, promote and certify continuous medical education, verify credentials claimed by professionals and issue certificates of Good Standing.

The Council is also supposed to investigate and provide a redressal mechanism for grievances.

“But it is headless for the past many months now due to which all its functioning is suspended,” an official said.

Meanwhile the Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) has also written to the government and demanded that the Council be made functional.

In a communication to the Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department (GAD), the DAK has stated that the J&K state medical council has been dissolved some months back and the young doctors who have completed their medical degrees from various universities both within and outside the country need their documents to be registered with the council.

“The registration of documents is needed for any job or further qualification of these doctors. All these doctors are suffering as we do not have a functional council in place at present,” DAK in a letter has said. It has requested the government to frame a council in the larger interest of the doctors.

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