Blaming the inadequacy of good institutions for the prevailing sense of hopelessness in Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of Finance, Labour & Employment, Dr Haseeb Drabu today called for aligning the policy decisions to the social choices of people. He called for building credible institutions to inculcate positivity in the society.
Speaking at the 35thAnnual Day of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura here as the ‘Chief Guest’, Dr Drabu said doctors as a class of professionals are an institution unto themselves and they need to be groomed and nurtured to address the despair in the society.
“Apart from the political issues, Kashmir lacks good institutions to which people can look up to with pride and honor. Like SKIMS and J&K Bank, we have very few institutions which can offer us hope and strength. The society must come together and think how we can fill this void,” he said.
Dr Drabu said the people take a certain degree of pride in SKIMS and the J&K government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, will try to enhance its prestige in coming days through strategic interventions.
“SKIMS will continue to be an institution of eminence and relevance but new and credible institutions must be created to overcome the negativity we are going through. Also, I will humbly suggest getting fresh thinking into SKIMS in the way of competence and cultural diversity,” he said.
Dr Drabu said the SKIMS will grow and prosper in coming months and years, and the state government is willing to consider ceding more institutional and financial autonomy to the institute in the interest of healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir.
“As Finance Minister, I am looking for defined allocative parameters for sectors like health which can be backed by data and research. You can help us in making policy choices. Money is never a problem for the government. The question is how effectively you use it, with what purpose and to what end,” he said.
Congratulating the faculty, doctors and paramedics of SKIMS on the 35th Annual Day, the Finance Minister said doctors are a source of inspiration for the civil society as they are working under difficult and stressful conditions.
“You deserve much more than what you are getting, monetarily and socially. Let me assure you that our government will not leave any stone unturned to improve your stature and quality of life in coming years,” he said.
The function was also attended by Minister of State for Health, Housing & Urban Development and Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash. In her address, Asiea, who was ‘Guest of Honour’, termed SKIMS as a ray of hope in advanced healthcare under single roof for people belonging to marginalized sections of society.
“This great institution is the last ray of hope for people living in far-flung areas who don’t have means to afford private treatment. My suggestion will be to delink the specialists from the administrative work so that they can work for patient welfare alone. The government will have no problem in providing liberal funding for SKIMS,” she said.
The function was also attended by MLA Langate, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, DC Srinagar, Aabid Rashid, Prof MS Khuroo, one of world’s leading gastroenterologist from the Valley, Prof AG Ahanger, Director, SKIMS, Prof Altaf Kirmani, Dean Medical Faculty, SKIMS, Prof Riyaz Untoo, Principal, SKIMS Medical College, Prof Irfan Robbani, faculty from SKIMS and GMC Srinagar and paramedic and other staff from the institute.
Prof Tariq Gojwari, organizing chairman of the Annual Day, presented the welcome address.
On the occasion, the Finance Minister released the 2017 Annual Report of SKIMS. Later, ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award 2017, was conferred on one of world’s top neurosurgeon, M Afzal Wani, for his contribution to the field of neurosurgery.