| Casualty ward at JNMLC hospital in Bhagalpur. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Patna, Jan. 31: Only one class benefited from the junior doctors’ strike today — the middlemen. As patients across the state found government hospitals’ gates closed, brokers cashed in on them by taking them to private nursing homes.
The middlemen lapped up the opportunity to make fast bucks at the cost of patients and their relatives right from the morning. Those who could not match their demand had to suffer with most of the hospitals across the state not letting patients enter their premises.
Right from Jawaharlal Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH) in Bhagalpur to Patna Medical College and Hospital, the story was the same. No admission.
The services at JLNMCH, located in state health minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey’s constituency, were completely brought to a standstill. People from the entire Kosi belt and even from the adjoining district in Jharkhand go there for treatment.
Junior doctors who demonstrated from last night in front of the hospital gate were not present today. But the guards prevented the entry of new patients.
The hospital superintendent, Binod Prasad said: “An alternative arrangement has been made at Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Sadar Hospital (in Bhagalpur) to take care of the new patients.” That barely was a solution as the local district hospital lacked infrastructure and doctors.
All junior doctors of Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital also were on an indefinite strike. They boycotted work and gathered in front of the college to take out a procession. Later, they demonstrated in front of the emergency ward and the outdoor, forcing both the wards to close down.
Addressing the doctors later in the day, Dr Prabhat Kumar and Dr Abhishek, president and the secretary of the junior doctors’ association, respectively, announced their strike would continue till the final settlement in Patna and Gaya. They even used slogans against the government and the guilty MLA and demanded justice. However, they did not disrupt work of senior doctors.
In Muzaffarpur, Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) remained closed since early morning. Hundreds of patients in different wards remained indoors and were not attended to. Medical students went on the rampage demanding an immediate arrest of Surendra Kumar Yadav, whose bodyguard was involved in the firing incident at the Gaya hospital.
The junior doctors of SKMCH boycotted classes and locked the hospital this morning. They also locked the outdoor patient department and drove out those who came for medical aid.