Complaints of molestation in hospitals
The Health and Medical Education department has received large number of complaints of harassment of the female staff by their senior officials and male colleagues during the duty hours here.
According to officials, the incident of alleged molestation bid by Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman, on a female employee was not the only case, but there have also been complaints by female staffers including doctors alleging harassment during their duty hours.
Officials said that the divisional Women Grievance Cell (WGC) of the health department has received at least six cases in last two months in which the female staffers have ‘complained of harassment by the male staffers including their senior officers.’
The WGC, headed by a lady doctor, was constituted by the health department after a case of ‘sexual assault’ was registered against former Health Minister, Shabir Khan, in February this year.
An official associated with WGC said that the cases of harassment have been received from different districts in which the “women employees have complained of misbehaviour by the male staff. While investigation is going on in some complaints, we have taken action against the erring staff by getting them transferred.”
According to officials the complaints received by the health department include that by a lady block medical officer (BMO) alleging harassment by the male staff in a sub district hospital in Budgam during the duty hours as well as by some senior lady doctors at Gousia Hospital Khanyar that a male ‘staff member’ misbehaved with them.
“The BMO had complained that after she took some of the male employees to task for their non-performance, they harassed her and even used abusive language against her,” said an official.
Officials said that they are also investigating a complaint filed by a lady dental technician working at Chadoora hospital before the District Grievance Cell alleging harassment by a male doctor.
They added that in some of the associated hospitals of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, the senior administrative officials have also received complaints from the female staffers alleging harassment by the male staff during night duty hours.
“The complaints we have received include that of female staffers about their harassment to deploy them for longer night duty hours,” said an official.
State’s Health Minister, Taj Mohiuddin, said, “I have directed the officials to act promptly in all matters in which the women have levelled allegations of misbehaviour by the male employees. In the case involving Director Health Services Kashmir, I have directed that the inquiry should be completed within a week’s time.”