“According to the Financial Commissioner, the doctors can develop communication skills by serving in peripheries, which is as irrational as anything, because the influx of patients at city hospitals is much more than the patients influx in peripheries”
Dissenting voices have started surfacing within doctors’ fraternity against the reported decision of the Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department-Atal Dulloo regarding deployment of doctors in peripheries perhaps to develop ‘Communication Skills.’
According to the sources privy to the development, during a meeting with Senior Residents and Post Graduates of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H), Financial Commissioner instead of listening to the grievances and issues of the doctors, stressed on the need of developing communication skills.
“In the meeting, Senior Residents and Post Graduates apprised Financial Commissioner about various issues like working of interns, security inwards, electricity, and health insurance for all healthcare workers among other issues, transpired during COVID-19 period,” said sources, adding that Financial Commissioner instead of respecting the sentiments of the doctors, ‘mocked their communication skills and also digressed discussion on level of frustration in doctors’.
Sources asserted that the Financial Commissioner was apparently belittling the doctors by questioning their temperament and communication skills while dealing with patients and attendants.
“In this time of obscurity, when everybody is appreciating the role of doctors in saving lives, the Financial Commissioner finds reason to disparage them by questioning their mental abilities,” said sources, adding that it appears the Financial Commissioner was already fed up by some ‘miscreants’ about it.
Talking to The Typewriter, scores of doctors, wishing anonymity stated that the decision of the Financial Commissioner is absolutely ‘irrational and illogical’.
“According to the Financial Commissioner, the doctors can develop communication skills by serving in peripheries, which is as irrational as anything, because the influx of patients at city hospitals is much more than the patients influx in peripheries,” said a dissenting doctor, adding that the nomenclature of patients is same everywhere, urban as well as rural.
He stated that an MBBS student starts interacting with patients and attendants from their internship, which continues throughout the career.
“An unusual decision to send doctors in peripheries just for the sake of developing communication skills is an illogical and deliberate attempt to harass young doctors, who have been easy targets for such protagonist bureaucrats,” maintained the doctor.
An official of the health department told The Typewriter that the primary responsibility of the authorities at this time was to remove the disparity of stipend between Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) Jammu and Sher-e-Kashmir-Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Srinagar.
“The doctors have been demanding removal of disparity for a long time and during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, their demand becomes more imperative, but the Financial Commissioner has not taken any measures to fulfill this demand,” said the official.
Aggravated over the ‘absurd’ decision of the Financial Commissioner, the Senior Residents (SR) and Post Graduates (PGs) criticized the same. The doctors even accused the Financial Commissioner of ‘lacking’ proper communication skills.
The screenshots of the conversation (in the possession of The Typewriter) stated that the doctors of the Medical College and its Associated Hospitals are not satisfied with the working of the FC, H&ME Department as he has allegedly failed to address the issues raised by the doctors community time and again and taken them for granted.
Reacting to the remarks of the Financial Commissioner, doctors said, “As per him (FC), we have poor communication skills, due to over burden we get frustrated and rude with patients, so according to him, manhandling of doctors is totally doctors fault,” adding “How he conceived that the district Residency programme will help residents to develop better communication skills and there won’t be any more manhandling, Isko IAS Banaya Kisne? (Who made him IAS officer).”
In reply to this message, another doctor stated “Still he (FC) requires one armed policeman strolling in the background the whole time in the auditorium amongst the most ‘’docile’ and elite class of society.”
Over Ayushman Bharat Scheme, a doctor said “He fooled us over the usual Ayushman Bharat Scheme. It’s there for every citizen of J&K not some exclusive scheme incentive he has given us besides his replies were not only disappointing but sarcastic and hurtful as well” .
“Rather entertaining him today (Tuesday) in the auditorium, we should have boycotted him because nothing new is going to happen and things will never change,” wrote a doctor in the personal group.
“Boycotting him (FC) is the only option we have”, the thread of interaction read, adding “Let’s not entertain him next time when he plans a visit.”
One of the doctors wrote “We need to tell him that we Doctors don’t need lessons in communication skills, we have actually developed lots of patience dealing with the patients.”
Others suggested that the Financial Commissioner should be the first to develop communication skills.
“He should be the first person to go to the periphery as I have never met any bureaucrat with such bad communication skills”, the doctor wrote.
When contacted Financial Commissioner, H&ME Department, Atal Dulloo was not available for comments when this report was published.