While a Kashmiri patient’s remark of facing discrimination at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here has created a buzz on social media, other patients undergoing treatment are full of praise for the institute.
The PGIMER caters to lakhs of patients from far off places, including Jammu and Kashmir as well. In 2015-16, more than 53,000 patients from this state were treated at the institute.
Last week, a patient’s son Javaid Malik said, “The moment a doctor got to know that we are Kashmiris, his attitude changed. He just got angry and threw away the documents and said that ‘Vahan Kashmir mein hamare jawanon ko patthar marte ho, aur phir yahan ilaj ke liye aate ho’ (you people pelt our security personnel in Kashmir with stones and then come here for treatment).” However, an inquiry conducted by the PGI director could not establish any truth in the claim.
On Wednesday, the HT correspondent interacted with a few people, who had come from Kashmir to the hospital for treatment, and found that all were happy with the treatment.
Mohammad Akbar, 60, is from Pulwama, Kashmir. He has come to the PGIMER with his wife Sherifa Banu, 50, for her treatment. He said “tauba”, when he was told about the incident. “Whosoever is saying this, he is lying. I visited the place five times this year and have found them very dedicated. Nobody ever said anything wrong.”
However, Mohammad Altaf believes that the respect for Kashmiris is gradually declining in the eyes of other countrymen, including doctors.
“I have never faced discrimination, but other people have told me that now there is a change in behaviour, which is quite obvious. Throughout our lives, we are dependent on the Indian government, but then youth throw stones on them. Obviously, it will impact the mindset of the people,” he said.
Mushtaq Ahmad, 35, is from Anantnag and has come to the PGIMER for the treatment of his 7-year-old daughter, Simrat, who injured her eye while playing.
“Everybody in Kashmir is full of praise of the PGIMER and its staff. I have earlier visited the hospital and know how dedicated the doctors are. I have full faith in the doctors of the institute and that is why I brought my child directly to the PGIMER. Here everybody treats us well,” he said.
Another person sitting in the row was Baharudin, 40, who is also from the valley. He has been coming to the PGIMER for the treatment of his child for the past two years, .
“My child’s joints were swollen and he was having difficulty in movement. These doctors have made him walk, and I am grateful to them. They are very dedicated and can never discriminate against their patients,” he said.
Abdul Rehman, 52, is from Kulgam. His friends brought him to the PGIMER after he complained of severe pain in his head. “Doctors examined us like all other patients and I did not notice any discrimination,” said Abdul Rehman.