Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday said it is ironical that government doctors are allowed to run private hospitals in Kashmir.
“Doctors take salary from public hospitals and surprisingly work for private hospitals,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said public hospitals are the places where poor seek health care. Majority of our population is still poor and cannot afford expensive treatment in private hospitals.
“Diverting human resource from government hospitals to private sector deprives poor and underprivileged of essential health care,” he said.
The DAK President said government doctor is a government servant all the 24 hours of the day, round the clock and does not cease to be one during spare hours when he/she is away from duty.
“Permitting private practice at any time in the day is bound to affect the discharge of official duties by government doctor,” he said.
Dr Nisar said the dual practice creates pervasive incentives for doctors to increase waiting time at government hospitals so that patients are forced to go to private clinics.
“Doctors concentrate their attention and work effort on private practice at the expense of public hospitals.
They use public hospitals as recruiting grounds for their private practice and orchestrate scenarios to generate business for their clinics,” he said.
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said private practice has eaten away our premier health institutions which not only are crucial life-saving assets but also full-time centers for medical education and research.
The academic character of the health institutions has got damaged and profession of healthcare has got affected by private practice.
“Private health sector should grow, but not at the cost of public health sector,” he said adding “private hospitals can’t run their business by hiring government doctors who are appointed full-time for public sector.”
Spokesperson DAK Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said time has come to segregate health sector and doctors have to decide whether to work for private or public health sector.
“Government should ban private practice of government doctors particularly in medical colleges to ensure round the clock availability of doctors for patients,” he added.