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Junior doc strike hits services

Patients arrive at the emergency ward of Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital on Sunday during the junior doctors’ strike. Picture by Jitendra Kumar Shrivastava

A strike by junior doctors at Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital since Saturday night has crippled health services in its various wards.

The junior doctors demand foolproof security as scuffle with attendants of patients has been a regular affair.

Around 8.30pm on Saturday, a patient was wheeled into the emergency ward in a serious condition and he died later despite efforts to save him. This led to angry attendants beat up junior doctors on duty at the ward.

On Sunday, hardly a doctor was seen to take care of the patients in the 1,030-bed hospital. Patients were left to rely on services of nurses. “My father Gudari Sharma, admitted with brain problems, has been left in the care of nurses. No doctor came to visit him since morning. My father is battling with life at the hospital and I insisted a doctor’s visit but no one came,” said Chhedi Sharma, adding that the DMCH seemed dependent on junior doctors.

Mohammad Allauddin, another patient, said: “Till Saturday, junior doctors used to come to visit me but no doctor came on Sunday. A surgery was to be performed on me but it was postponed. Since we are poor, we have not option but to wait for the hospital to become functional.”

DMCH deputy medical superintendent Santosh Jha told The Telegraph: “Our emergency services are on and functioning unhindered as it is being run by senior doctors. After junior doctors went on strike, we are trying to manage the health services. Since junior doctors are over 450 in number, we are able to manage the emergency services but their absence at hospital wards has severely affected the health services that I could not deny.”

Santosh added: “We are consistently in talk with the junior doctors and even we are ready to fulfil their demands of barricading of emergency ward gate, manning by police personnel and limiting the number of attendants. Our talks remained unsuccessful yet as they want the work right now. How can we manage bricks, cement and sand suddenly to start work?”

Junior doctors’ association spokesperson Bhuwanjee Jha said: “We want barricading of emergency gate, limiting the number of attendants with each patient and security personnel at emergency gate that would ensure our security concerns. Scuffles are quite common at emergency ward and work at the health hub at such junction is almost impossible. The DMCH administration would have to ensure our security if it wants us to resume our services.”

Bhuwanjee said: “Each doctor strives hard to save the lives of patients. But it is not necessary that we could save the lives of all, as we are not God. If patients who are critically injured come at the hospital and die despite our best efforts, the attendants call their relatives and they come in large number and thrash the doctors on duty, levelling charges of dereliction of duty which is not the case.”


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