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Doctors slam Govt’s timings for GMCs, GDCs

‘Who will treat patients after 5 pm?’
12:39 AM Apr 08, 2024 IST | MUKEET AKMALI
doctors slam govt’s timings for gmcs  gdcs

Srinagar, Apr 7:  The doctors in Jammu and Kashmir have raised serious concerns over the government's move to revise working hours for medical staff at Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) and Government Dental Colleges (GDCs) from 9 am to 5 pm akin to other offices.


The core issue highlighted by the medical fraternity is - who would attend to patients requiring medical care before 9 am and after 5 pm if the new timings are implemented? The government directive on aligning duty timings has drawn flak from the Medical Faculty Associations of GMCs and GDCs in Kashmir.


In missives to the Administrative Secretary of Health and Medical Education, the associations have accused the administration of issuing the order without proper consultation with stakeholders, given the unique 24/7 nature of healthcare services.

“Order No 272 JKHME of 2024 dated April 3, 2024, issued regarding the working days and duty timing in GMCs and GDCs has not been issued after consultation with the stakeholders given the nature of duties in various clinical and non-clinical departments,” the doctors said.


The medical faculty associations have strongly objected to the new timings, stating that the 24/7 nature of healthcare cannot be equated with other offices.


Existing duty rosters catering to round-the-clock patient care have been in place for years.


Doctors and paramedics cannot take breaks and leave sick patients unattended, the letter pointed out. It highlighted how surgeons routinely operate for extended hours beyond duty periods without overtime benefits while consultants and faculty remain on call 24/7 for emergency cases at odd hours.


The associations argued that the consultants and faculty were always on call 24/7 and attended duties in case of emergencies at odd hours (outside designated hours).

The hospital works routinely with OPD and operating theatres besides casualty without availing any additional benefits of overtime or two-and-a-half days salary on gazetted holidays.

“The teaching of the students as per the NMC norms starts at 9 am and continues till 5 pm. The faculty and consultants already take classes from 9 am up to 5 pm as per the NMC teaching roster. The majority of the staff including doctors and paramedics are deputed and attached from the health services to the newly created GMCs. By implementing this order these employees will prefer to get repatriated to their parent departments resulting in the collapse of the already strained healthcare system in new rural medical colleges.”

As per the recent report submitted by the ‘Chawla Committee’ there needs to be a hike in the salary of doctors if the timing of PGI and AIIMS type of working timing is implemented.

“It is requested that the order related to duty hours in the Government Medical Colleges be kept in abeyance for the time being, and all the stakeholders are taken into confidence before its final implementation. According to an official order, the new reporting time for employees at GMCs and GDCs will be 9 am, while the relieving time has been set at 5 pm on all weekdays except Saturdays," the doctors said.

The order states, “To improve patient care, the reporting time will be 9 am, and the relieving time will be 5 pm on weekdays, with a half-hour lunch break from 1:30 pm to 2 pm on all days except Saturday in all Government Medical College and Government Dental Colleges of J&K."

Furthermore, the order specifies that on Saturdays, the reporting time would be 9 am, and the relieving time would be 1:30 pm.

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