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Doctors’ strike cripples RIMS

Medical services at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, took a hit on Tuesday, as postgraduate (PG) doctors of the state-run hospital launched a pen-down strike to protest against a colleague who was allegedly manhandled by attendants of a patient on Monday.

The RIMS outpatients department (OPD) stayed closed from 10am to 1pm. As some 150 PG doctors refused to work, 1,000 patients were forced to leave. Activities at the emergency ward, CT scan and pathology department were also affected for three hours.

However, timely intervention of RIMS director Mahto and his assurances of greater security on hospital premises pacified the doctors.

Protesting doctors accused Hazaribagh residents Md Rashid and Md Ali of assaulting fellow doctor Sandip Kumar. The doctors had lodged an FIR against the duo at Bariatu thana on Monday evening, but the accused are absconding.

Protesters demanded the arrest of the duo by December 27, failing which they would launch an indefinite strike.

Reportedly, brothers Rashid and Ali roughed up Kumar when their 85 year-old relative A. Hasan died of kidney failure at the hospital, charging the doctor with negligence.

According to protesting doctors, who gathered under the banner of Junior Doctors’ Association to stage a dharna near RIMS emergency ward on Tuesday morning, security at the health hub was below par. The doctors met RIMS director Mahto and appraised him of their grievances in an hour-long meeting.

Doctors demanded more security on RIMS campus, stringent implementation of Medical Protection Act and arrest of Rashid and Ali within 72 hours.

Mahto told The Telegraph that as a doctor himself, he felt the demands were “legitimate”. “I will request the police to arrest the culprits within 72 hours,” he added.