| Patients and attendants outside the hospital’s emergency ward. Picture by Jitendra Kumar Shrivastava |
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.”