'SKIMS doctors stood turbulent times'

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Advisor to Lieutenant Governor J&K, Farooq Khan on Thursday said that SKIMS doctors stood turbulent times and performed their duties with professionalism to save precious human lives.

 “My association with this institution goes to 1990s when I was posted in the Valley,” said Khan on the 37th annual day of SK Institute of Medical Sciences here.

He said, “This is an institution which gave pride to all the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. We could proudly say in Delhi that we also have an institution of highest standard which is providing all kind of healthcare facilities to J&K residents.”

“Even during the days when Kashmir was in turmoil professionals working in this institution kept the flag of this institution very high,” stated Khan.

Recalling the incident when former bureaucrat, who served in J&K in various capacities, Wajahat Habibullah, had met with an accident, Khan said, “When I was posted in Srinagar in 1990, Mr Wajahat Habibullah met with an accident. Incidentally, I was the one who took him out of his car. Rushed him to nearby Army hospital, where from he was immediately rushed to SKIMS. When I was shifting Mr Habibullah from Army hospital, God forbid I had already declared him dead.”

Khan said when he went to SKIMS after three days to see Habibullah he could see him (Habibullah) speaking and he was conscious.

Lauding the SKIMS doctors, who had attended to Habibullah at that time, Khan said: “When somebody in the administration pressed the SKIMS doctors to refer him to Delhi they stood their ground and refused to shift him. I salute them. He was finally shifted but I personally believe that Mr Habibullah’s life was saved by professionals at SKIMS.” 


Khan said during 90’s SKIMS doctors despite being “ill-treated” at their hospital by “unwanted guests” performed their duties with full dedication and sincerity.   

“I personally know that during turbulent 90’s, institute (SKIMS) was affected very badly. Most of you who were there in 90’s may recall who used to run the institution. It was not the Director SKIMS. Some unwanted guest sitting in one of your rooms used to virtually run the show,” said Khan.

“SKIMS professionals were maltreated, they were harassed, but they continued to perform their duties. That tells you about fabulous work their teachers have done, who had trained them,” said Khan.

Khan said, “I pray to God to shower choicest blessings on all of you. And enable you to perform your duties, which Allah subhanwatalh has bestowed upon you. On this occasion I want to pay tributes to tallest of the J&K leaders late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who not only conceived this project, but also ensured that it is established and starts functioning. All of us owe a lot to him.”


Speaking on the occasion, SKIMS Director Dr A H Ahanger said the reason for creation of SKIMS was to build a hospital for the people of J&K, particularly for those who could not afford their treatment in outside places. 

“People at that time had to go to AIIMS Delhi or PGI Chandigarh,” said Dr Ahanger.

He said, “But today I must tell you that SKIMS for Kashmiri people is AIIMS and PGI. It is the household name. And who doesn’t want to come to SKIMS, it is not only for consultation but also for its beauty”.

He said SKIMS is a “brand name not only in J&K but all over the country”.

Paying tributes to the founder of SKIMS, late Sheikh Muhammad  Abdullah, Dr Ahanger said: “Late Abdullah gave his own property to begin with. And then everybody from J&K contributed in what it is today.”

He added quality of research work conducted by the doctors at the institute is “unparalleled”, which is why it is frequently getting published in prestigious journals like New England journal of medicine and Lancet.

Dr D Nageshwar Reddy, a world-renowned gastroenterologist, currently, Head of GE Division at Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad delivered “Sher-i-Kashmir Oration’ in which he sketched the journey of the Institute and its contribution in four decades of service.

On the occasion, Dr AK Nagpal, the founder Director of SKIMS, was conferred ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’ for his pivotal role in bringing SKIMS to what it stands at present.

Dean Medical Faculty, Dr Omar Javid Shah and Principal SKIMS Medical College Bemina, Dr Reyaz Ahmad Untoo highlighted the academic and research activities of SKIMS.

Those present on the occasion included Vice-Chancellor of KU, Prof Talat Ahmad, Commissioner, SMC, Principal GMCs, former Directors and Deans of SKIMS, present and superannuated faculty of SKIMS, SKIMS MC Bemina, SKIMS Nursing College, GMC Srinagar, GMC Baramulla and GMC Anantnag.

Besides a large number of medical and paramedical staff, and key functionaries of SKIMS attended the function.

Later awards were also given to the faculty members to encourage SKIMS employees for further enhancing the services.


The project was conceptualized in 1976 by late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. Foundation of SKIMS was laid on 14 November 1977. It was made operational on 5 December 1982, while it was granted status of deemed university subsequently in 1983, with AK Nagpal as its project director.

SKIMS hospital was started with 250 beds in 1982 catering to 1000 patients a day. Now the hospital is catering to 20,000 patients in 24 hours. Currently, the institute has 900-bed capacity with requirement of 1000 beds still felt to cater to patient demand.