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Patients cry for care, junior docs unfazed

A 20-hour strike by junior doctors at Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has crippled hea- lth services, compelling patients to go to private nursing homes.

Biraul resident Purnima Devi, who was to undergo a surgery of the uterus, left disappointed. My surgeon has said junior doctors are on strike and they are carrying out only emergency operations. Now I have no option other than to either return home or go to a private hospital which I will not be able to afford, Purnima said, adding that many patients returned when their operations were cancelled.

Pravesh Alam, who wanted to visit a doctor at DMCH as he was complaining chest problem, went to a private hospital after knowing that junior doctors are on strike.

If patients at various wards of the hospitals are crying what kind of treatment could I expect from here in absence of junior doctors? said Alam.

President of junior doctors association Kunal Shankar said: We kept on resuming health services at hospital each time after we were assured to be fulfilled our demands. We always ask the hospital administration to make available life-saving drugs, barricading at emergency gate, limited entry of attendants and enquiry counter etc. and requisite human resources that hospital administration can do.

DMCH deputy medical superintendent Santosh Mishra said: Demands of junior doctors are genuine but all of those cannot be met at a time. We have ensured them that we would fulfil their all demands within a week. As per their demand, the barricading at emergency gate has temporarily been completed, while security personnel have been manned. One of their demands is installation of X-ray machine at emergency ward is likely to be installed soon.

Shankar countered: Assurance is not enough as we are kept on being beaten up by attendants of patients in case they are asked to bring emergency drugs.

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