Beds at the intensive care unit of RIMS lie vacant on Friday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Junior doctors call the shots at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.
Or so it seemed on Friday when the RIMS management showed little interest in stemming a mass exodus of patients, perhaps apprehensive of another showdown by the bunch of unruly medicos.
The doctors, who have assaulted two scribes in the past, are “absconding (read MIA)” since Tuesday, but the state-run hospital or the health department for that matter has not initiated any probe against them so far. Worse, instead of starting disciplinary action against juniors, senior doctors were seen and heard recommending patients to go to other hospitals.
The government health institute, which normally is swamped with patients above capacity, had 60 per cent vacant beds on Friday.
Sources said RIMS has a total of 1,089 beds while the number of in-house patients on any given day is between 1,250 and 1,300. Today, the bed occupancy notice at the superintendent’s room showed 1,100 at 2pm, whereas the four-storeyed hospital had not more than 400 patients admitted.
Rajni Devi, whose husband is suffering from diarrhoea, said she was being compelled to mull alternative arrangements. “He was admitted last Saturday. His condition was not good. Today, the doctor asked me to seek discharge. I was told senior doctors cannot alone manage so many patients,” she said.
Krishna Devi, whose daughter-in-law gave birth on Tuesday, faced the same predicament. “All patients want to leave or are being made to leave because there is no one to attend to them.”
A senior doctor denied the allegations. “Look, our responsibility is to treat patients. It is the PG doctors who stay in every ward when we are not around. Their absence is forcing people to leave,” he said, unwilling to be named.
Asked whether he indirectly meant that junior doctors managed the show at RIMS, he hesitantly said: “No, it is not like that. The thing is we cannot be always present.”
Officiating director of RIMS Dr S.K. Choudhary refused to comment on whether he supported junior doctors or had plans to take action against them for delinquency.
Choudhary also clammed up when probed on the occupancy status at RIMS.