Doctors go on strike in Jammu and Kashmir

     Patients are suffering at the Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital in Jammu and Kashmir, as junior doctors are on a strike protesting against the alleged indifferent attitude of the State Government towards their long-pending demands. Around 4000 junior doctors are participating in the indefinite strike and their demand includes a hike in pay grades, time bound promotion for doctors after five, ten and fifteen years and formulation of law that ensures action against persons assaulting any health official on duty. The decision to go on strike was taken in a meeting of the Doctors Joint Action Committee (DJAC). "The demand of all of us is that the State Government is playing with our dignity and it should not happen. We have been placed in pay band two. Earlier, 6th pay commissions of Central Government had placed us in pay band three, but, the State Government has placed us in pay band 2 with those people who work two-three hours a day or four days a week," said Dr. Neeraj Sharma, spokesperson of Doctors Joint Action Committee (DJAC). Due to the strike, patients were left unattended outside emergency wards and in general wards of the hospitals. They were in grief as some of them had come from far-flung areas and can't afford private hospitals. "Police hospital referred me to medical college. But, now where should I go? They are not allowing me to go in. I have been told doctors are on strike. I am taking my last breath. What should I do? What will happen if I die, even if the strike is over later it has no meaning for me," said Mohammad Aslam, a patient. DJAC had served a final ultimatum to State Government of September 13 to fulfill their demands.

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