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Doc strike pain persists

Sunil Kumar, an attendant of a patient admitted to the emergency wing of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, looked restless on Sunday.

“I admitted my father here last night. His liver has been fully damaged. I am really worried to see the arrangements at this hospital. Senior doctors are not available at the emergency wing all the time. Junior doctors and interns, who are generally available in the emergency wing round-the-clock are also not available because of their ongoing strike,” said Sunil, a businessman and one of the attendants at the emergency wing.

Sunil had admitted his father Rajeshwar Prasad to the emergency wing of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) on Saturday night after he developed a breathing problem.

Roshan Prasad, an attendant of another patient, Sulekha Devi, said: “Doctors told us yesterday (Saturday) that my sister’s surgery needs to be conducted soon. My sister was admitted on Friday with a swelling in her abdomen. Today, no doctor has approached us for my sister’s operation. It seems the strike called by junior doctors of this hospital has put surgeries on hold,” said Roshan.

The junior doctors and interns of the NMCH went on strike on Friday night following a clash between them and traffic police on Wednesday night, which led to the detention of four of their classmates on the same night. Sources said the police personnel also lodged FIR against 27 students the very next day (on Thursday). The junior doctors of the NMCH claimed that some cops entered their hostel on Wednesday night and thrashed medics. The junior doctors and interns are now demanding that FIR against them should be taken back and cops involved in the incident be suspended.

Sukesh Kumar, a junior doctor of NMCH, claimed that the junior doctors’ strike hampered the functioning of the hospital. “There are 100 interns and 50 postgraduates students who are on strike. I don’t think the hospital administration has been able to fill the gap created by the absence of these 150 people,” said Sukesh.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, president of the Junior Doctors’ Association, NMCH, said: “We are now garnering support of junior doctors of other hospitals. If the state government does not fulfil our demands, junior doctors of other government hospitals also might join our strike. At present, MBBS students of Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences are supporting our strike. They sat on dharna on Saturday in support of our strike. We are also in talks with junior doctors of the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH). They would let us know about their decision tomorrow on what action they would take.”

Gopal Kumar, a junior doctor of the PMCH said the Junior Doctors’ Association meeting of the hospital would be conducted on Monday in which the course of action would be decided. “We are definitely supporting the junior doctors and interns of the NMCH. However it would be clear in our meeting, scheduled on Monday, that what action we would take in support of the strike of junior doctors of the NMCH.”

Santosh Kumar, the superintendent of the NMCH, was not available for comment.

Earlier, four students had been detained for not wearing helmets. Following a scuffle between the police and the students in front of the institute, an FIR was lodged against 25 of the medicos.

City superintendent of police Ashish Bharti claimed that the police department was ready to take action against the erring cops but students of the NMCH had not furnished the details to the department because of which it was unable to take action. “What we can do? We are ready to lodge FIRs against the cops who were involved in the NMCH incident but the junior doctors of the NMCH have so far not approached us for the same. They have not provided us the names of the cops. We can’t take action on our own,” he said.

Recently, junior doctors of the PMCH too had gone on strike after an alleged clash with some special task force personnel. The state’s Indian Medical Association supported the junior doctors’ stand.