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Doctors, scientists condemn government action against Dr. Omar Salim

A group of doctors, medical students and scientists under the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) have condemned the government action against Dr. Omar Salim, a 1999 batch MBBS graduate, currently working as a urologist in the government medical college in Srinagar.

The group is also seeking permission to send a fact-finding group to Kashmir and, in a statement issued on Thursday, noted that Dr. Salim was requesting the government to restore landline and internet connectivity to hospitals and medical establishments because patients were suffering, health insurance schemes were defunct, dialysis sessions were being cut down and cancer patients were not reaching for treatment.

Dr. Salim had insisted that it was not a protest but “a request for humanitarian causes”. He had also added that patients were either refused treatment or forced to buy costly medicines from outside ,which was unjust to the poor people of Kashmir.

Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, national convener of the Forum said: “His claims are parallel with the reports of many international news agencies and medical journals, which highlighted the healthcare crisis due to the three-week long clampdown in the valley. But unfortunately, he was whisked away by the police within few minutes of making the request.”

The Forum maintains that medical professionals are above all political or religious divides, doctors are the custodians of their patient’s health, and demanding the restoration of healthcare services is their moral duty in such a state of neglect, and by no means can it be called a crime.

“The medical profession is about relieving human suffering and it’s not only about treating diseases. If doctor is concerned about the suffering of the people of Kashmir, then he is not politicising the cause but trying to find the solution for this crisis. We condemn the detention of Dr. Omar Salim and demand that the health situation in the valley be restored at the earliest,” the Forum has asked.

The PMSF has also sought permission from the Home and Health Ministries to send teams of doctors to Kashmir to assess the current healthcare status there and for better understanding of the healthcare needs of the Kashmiri people.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 11:43:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/doctors-scientists-condemn-government-action-against-dr-omar-salim/article29292005.ece

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