The Telegraph
Wednesday , June 27 , 2012
 
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Doctors adamant, patients helpless

Patients unable to shift to private hospitals continue to bear the brunt of the junior doctors’ strike at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) for the 13th consecutive day on Tuesday.

“The agitation will continue till our demands are met with, which includes removal of PMCH superintendent O.P. Chaudhary and arrangement of security for junior doctors,” PMCH Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) member Dr Ravish Ranjan said.

The agitating doctors alleged that the state government was not interested to meet their demands. “Despite several requests made to health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Vyasji, the principal secretary of the health department, they have not given an appointment to the JDA members. While the health minister has no time to meet us, the principal secretary is busy till June 29,” Dr Ranjan added.

Choubey and Vyasji were, however, unavailable for comment.

Though the state government has hired the services of additional doctors posted at government hospital in the outskirts of Patna, the move has affected the situation little. Patients, especially admitted in the emergency wards of PMCH, continue to suffer because of insufficient number of doctors.

Ramadhir Prasad, a resident of Danapur who was admitted to PMCH after a road accident, said: “I am admitted in the hospital for the past three days but the doctors are irregular in their visits. The doctor hardly comes once a day because of which we have to depend upon the nurses.

“The rich can afford treatment at private hospitals but what about the poor who have no other option but to depend on government hospitals for treatment?” he added.

Ramanuj Paswan, another patient, who has suffered a fracture in his leg moved to Ruban Hospital on Tuesday. He was admitted in the orthopaedic ward of PMCH for the past one week.

Paswan said: “For how long can I remain at the PMCH without proper medical treatment? I had no option but to move to a private clinic.”

The junior doctors at PMCH have been on strike since June 14 following a brawl with attendants of a patient suffering from suspected acute encephalitis syndrome the earlier night. One of their peers was allegedly thrashed. The doctors too allegedly roughed up the hospital superintendent, Dr O.P. Chaudhary, when he tried to intervene.

Dr Chaudhary had on Tuesday said: “We have tried our best to end the strike, but the doctors are adamant.”