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Why Dental Surgeons Think They Are Being Deliberately Discriminated Against?

by Umar Mukhtar

SRINAGAR: In order to acknowledge their life-risking spirit while fighting the Covid19 pandemic, the government decided to give some monetary incentives. While they were given some amount on monthly basis, a scheme was nationally devised to take care of their families in case they die while fighting the contagion.

In this March 2018 photograph, dental college students burnt their dress to lodge a strong protest at Press colony Srinagar.

But the generosity seemingly is selective. The junior residents and interns of government dental college Srinagar like others are working on the frontline but they claim they are getting peanuts.

The MBBS junior residents in GMC’s or anywhere else are getting 1000 rupees per month as incentives and have been given an extension in their stay till December 31 this year. But when it comes to dental junior residents, they are not getting such incentives.

“I do not know why this step-motherly attitude is set up for us when we are on the frontline risking our lives,” said Dr Afsheen, a junior resident doctor at GDC.

Currently, the doctors there work on roaster patterns and do the sampling. A Covid19 sampling centre was set up in GDC. “We normally do 100 Covid19 samplings a day,” Afsheen said.

The doctors have even made a representation to the Department of oral pathology HOD and principal GDC Dr Riyaz Farooq and have requested them to look into the matter but they are yet to hear from them.

Pertinent to mention that many of the junior residents got infected while dispelling their duties. “Even at present some of our doctors are still positive,” Afsheen said.

The doctors said that it is not the first time that they are being discriminated against but they always have to fight to get their due rights. “I sometimes think we are the lesser children of the system,” said another doctor who wished not to be named.

Danish an intern told Kashmir Life that he is working on the frontline along with his other colleagues tirelessly and do sampling but in return, their work is not acknowledged as frontline workers.

Recently the government announced two DRDO 500 bedded COVID hospitals for Jammu and Srinagar. Even though temporary and in the middle of a pandemic, the Government has created there nearly 70 posts of Medical Officers (MOs) which are going to include the Dental Surgeons for the first time in the last 12 years keeping in view a surge in the Covid19 cases with existing hospitals facing pressure amid a dearth of manpower.
With regard to the Dental Surgeons, there has been no post creation particularly for them in the last 12 years anywhere in the peripheries in J&K with a result the oral healthcare across the UT has taken a hit.

“But when the applications were sought for the recruitment, only MBBS candidates were kept eligible,” said Dr Ishaq, another junior resident.

“Amid this pandemic, we need to keep our egos on the side and should work together without calling anybody lesser. We appeal to the authorities to look into our matter and treat us equally and with dignity,” Ishaq said.

When Kashmir Life contacted GDC principal Dr Riyaz, he declined to talk over the phone.

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