A critical patient at the RIMS medicine ward being looked after by a family member on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Medical services across the state remained paralysed as several hundred nursing staff went on a three-day strike from Wednesday, voicing their grievances over poor salary structure.
While over 450 nurses skipped duty at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, 80 others abandoned patients at MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur. To make matters worse, 300-odd junior doctors at RIMS also ceased work over slack security on hospital premises.
Government nurses have long been demanding salary revision as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, facilities enjoyed by nursing staff at Centre-run hospitals and a nursing directorate in the state.
At RIMS, the impact of the strike was almost instantly felt in the outdoor ward, where more than 1,000 patients turn up for treatment on a normal day. While the OPD wore a deserted look, some 10 patients were turned away from the emergency ward. At least five major surgeries and 15 minor ones were also postponed. Though 100 senior doctors were on duty, absence of assistants rendered them helpless. Some doctors had to double up as paramedical staff.
Hospital superintendent Manoj Kumar Rai admitted the crisis. “We have asked all doctors to remain on duty and have also called in as many as 75 paid non-academic doctors (students who are preparing for admission to PG course after MBBS degree),” he said.
At MGM, the emergency ward was worst affected. Hospital sources said that not a single surgery was conducted at the gynaecology OT, which sees at least 5-6 C-sections everyday.
Superintendent S.S. Prasad, however, downplayed the impact and said: “It is only a matter of a day or two. We are taking necessary measures so that patients are not inconvenienced.”
But those who bore the brunt had a different story to tell. Some relatives of patients at MGM said they were being forced to do what nurses do like administering medicines or fetching water.
At the gynaecology ward of RIMS, there was clash between an attendant and junior doctors after one Reena Devi (25), a resident of Ratu, died within eight hours of delivering a baby. The attendant, Amit Kumar, was beaten up when he tried to manhandle the lady doctor under whom Reena was admitted
| Members of Trained Nurses’ Association stage a dharna outside RIMS in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
When Orissa catches swine flu, neighbour Jharkhand sneezes in fear. To counter panic, the East Singhbhum district health department on Wednesday launched helpline numbers and distributed dos and don’ts leaflets.
Through the leaflets circulated at state and private offices, people suspecting swine flu were asked to immediately contact doctors at the district surveillance unit in Sakchi, nodal officer Swaran Singh at 09334637964 or epidemiologist Satish Tripathi at 09430337753.
People have been requested to avoid crowded places, cover mouth and nose while sneezing, wash hands and not spit in public. In the capital, state nodal officer for swine flu Pradeep Baskey said throat swab of a suspected patient had tested negative
• 450 nurses at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi
• 80 nurses at MGM Medical College and Hospital, Jamshedpur
• 300 junior doctors at RIMS
• No patient treated at RIMS outdoor unit
• 20 surgeries cancelled at RIMS
• Gynaecology, ENT and other OTs at MGM closed
• Indoor wards affected at both RIMS and MGM
| A deserted nurses’ cabin at MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur. Picture by Bhola Prasad
“My mother, suffering from serious kidney ailments, was admitted to MGM on Tuesday. I was not aware of the strike. Now, I have had to take leave from work to nurse my mother,” said Madhusudan Mahto, an employee of a small-scale unit in Adityapur
A 65-year-old accident victim, Aizozan Biwi, who was to undergo a surgery in the left leg in the morning, was informed that she would have to wait till next week. “I am in terrible pain. My left knee seems to be broken, but I have no choice but to wait,” Aizozan, who has come from Phulpahari village in Ghatshila
Mathura Ram, a resident of Japla, Palamau, was a tad lucky. He was admitted to RIMS with pain in the ribs. Initially denied treatment, he was referred to senior doctors following intervention by superintendent Rai
While RIMS in Ranchi has already made arrangements for additional doctors to tide over the crisis, MGM Medical College and Hospital is hoping things will improve within a couple of days. “So, we are concentrating only on emergency cases for the time being,” said a senior doctor