Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has asked country’s prominent citizens to come forward and play an active role in removing negative perception, a tag which he said has unjustly stuck with Jammu & Kashmir. He said the bad patch that state went through is over and a new phase that focuses on development is being unveiled by the present government. “As you see, there is a visible change and Kashmir will rise again to become abode of peace and tranquility,” he said, while addressing delegates after inaugurating the 25th Annual Conference of North Zone Urological Society of India, at SKICC. Minister for Health & Medical Education, Ch. Lal Singh and Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr. M. C. Misra were also present on the occasion. Referring to J&K’s multiculturalism and diversity, which has given it a unique place in the country, Mufti Sayeed described J&K as an island of peace whose people cannot be divided on the basis of religion. He praised the ‘gene of tolerance ingrained in the people’ and remembered Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘ray of hope’ compliment given to J&K when the entire country was burning in a communal frenzy in 1947. “I do not know how, but negative perception seems to have stuck with us for a pretty long time,” he said, while urging delegates to help in changing the people’s mindset and turning the image around. Welcoming the delegates to the silver jubilee conference, the Chief Minister pledged to provide quality healthcare to people within the state so that they do not have to suffer the ignominy of travelling to other parts of the country for expensive medical treatment. For this, he urged the doctors to acquaint themselves with latest techniques and best practices so that patients are provided top-class medical treatment within the state. “We have a repository of world-class doctors. Conferences and symposia provide a great opportunity to update on latest trends available in the field of medicine,” he said. The Chief Minister said he was saddened when some of the best doctors left when political turbulence hit the state. “A few of them like Dr. Sushil Razdan, Dr. U. Koul and Dr. Sameer Koul come here regularly, but I want them to permanently return to their native place,” he wished. Highlighting the nobility of the great profession of a doctor, the Chief Minister said he himself wanted to become a doctor to serve humanity. “Since science stream was not available in my hometown of Bijbehara, I was not able to fulfill my dream,” he added. The Chief Minister said the health sector has been accorded highest priority by the government. “We are establishing five new medical colleges and two AIIMS which will go a long way in improving healthcare system,” he added. Keeping in mind the requirement of healthcare facilities in far-flung and inaccessible areas, particularly for women and children, Mufti Sayeed said PHCs are being upgraded to the level of childcare and maternity centres. “For providing facilities that match the very best, the government will encourage investment in health sector so that quality of essential services is improved,” he stated. Laying stress upon skill development, the Chief Minister said the premier universities, both at Kashmir and Jammu, have been tasked to start market-driven courses in creating a skilled workforce in paramedic streams like physiotherapy, radio therapy, forensic medicine, nursing and medical laboratory to meet the rising demand for advanced healthcare. The Chief Minister appreciated latest advances made in the field of urology, in particular urological laparoscopic procedures and laser surgery for prostate& kidney stones, which are now being performed in the state. “It is heartening that technology and expertise in urology has advanced to such an extent that hardly any open surgical procedure is performed nowadays,” he added, while praising the doctors for their skills in professionally diagnosing the ailments that patients suffer from. Mufti Sayeed said the government has installed two ESWL machines for non-invasive treatment of kidneys, one each at GMC Srinagar and SKIMS, for which patients in the past had to travel outside the state. The Chief Minister said he was delighted that doctors from UK, France and US are attending the conference which will provide our faculty a great opportunity to interact with compatriots at global level. Lauding the role of doctors, Ch. Lal Singh, in his address, highlighted the need to make conferences an inherent part of teaching curriculum so that doctors are abreast about the latest trends in surgical procedures. “I urge the delegates to deliver guest lectures in our medical colleges, so that our future doctors are made aware about the huge progress achieved in the field of urological science.” he added. Earlier, the Chef Minister felicitated the past presidents of the ZN USI which included Dr. S. K. Sharma, Dr. K. N. Singh, Dr. N. P Gupta, Dr. D. N. Kalla, Dr. S.V. Kotwal, Dr. P.B. Singh, Dr. P. N. Dogra, Dr. A. L. Bhat, Dr. Madhu Sudan Aggarwal, Dr. H. S. Batyal, Dr. A. L. Vyas, Dr. Ashok Sharma, Dr. Agneesh Srivastava, Dr. S. K. Singh, Dr. Rajeev Sood, Dr. Baldev Singh Alok, besides Dr. Rohtra, former USI President. The Chief Minister also felicitated overseas faculties, Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Greg, who performed partial nephrectomy, a very difficult procedure, which was transmitted live from the Kidney Hospital to the SKICC. Dr. Muneer Khan, Organizing Chairman of the Conference, presented the inaugural address and gave a brief overview of the three-day event, which is being held for the first time in Srinagar since 2005. He also requested the Chief Minister to order procurement of Robotic machine which he said will go a long way in carrying out latest surgical procedures in urological stream in the state. Also present were President, USI President, Dr. Pircy Chibber, USI North Zone President, Dr. S. K. Pal, Organizing Secretary, Dr. Baldev Singh, besides Dr. Uttam Methe.
2015 Kashmir Despatch