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Medics for strong charges on force

The strike by junior doctors at Patna Medical College and Hospital continued on Thursday.

While Junior Doctors’ Association president Rakesh Kumar told The Telegraph they did not get any positive response from the college and hospital administration regarding their demand, college principal Amar Kant Jha Amar claimed he held fruitful talks with the junior doctors and was sure the strike would be over by Thursday night.

Around 600 junior doctors of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) went on strike on Monday after a clash with some STF personnel. Junior doctors did not work for around five hours following the incident but resumed work later the same day after giving an ultimatum to the administration to take action against STF personnel involved in the incident. Finding no action by the college and hospital administration, they again went on strike on Tuesday night.

Amar Kant Jha Amar said the issue had almost been sorted out. “We have got a very good response from the junior doctors. We are hopeful the strike would end by today (Thursday). Health minister Ramdhani Singh is scheduled to visit the junior doctors late in the evening,” he said.

Amar had on Wednesday told The Telegraph that everything was under control in the emergency wing of the hospital despite the strike. But on Thursday he said: “Definitely the junior doctors’ strike has affected functioning of the hospital. There is no denying it.”

Junior Doctors’ Association president Rakesh Kumar said they were happy that the administration finally lodged an FIR but were not content with the charges framed against the personnel.

“We would have been happy if charges under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC had been levelled against the STF officers. We will not end our strike until and unless strong charges are brought against them. As far as I know, charges under Medical Protection Act have not been brought against the STF people,” he said.

He further said that in medical colleges of other states, the authorities ensure that they first frame charges on the basis of Medical Protection Act.

Many patients in the emergency wing of PMCH did not get the required medical assistance because of the junior doctors’ strike.

“Senior doctors are not available all the time. Now that junior doctors, too, are unavailable, we are fully dependent on the nurses. But, obviously, they cannot replace doctors,” said Swami Nath, a Maharajganj resident admitted to the emergency wing of PMCH.