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Home / Jharkhand / Patients suffer as OPDs stay shut on Day One of doctors' strike

Patients suffer as OPDs stay shut on Day One of doctors' strike

'Our fight is with the government, not with people; hence we treated many in the emergency'
On Tuesday, the protesting doctors locked the main entry door of all OPDs, where patients usually get the first diagnosis done in case of any health issue.
On Tuesday, the protesting doctors locked the main entry door of all OPDs, where patients usually get the first diagnosis done in case of any health issue.
Telegraph Picture

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 09.03.21, 09:11 PM

OPD services remained suspended at six medical colleges across Jharkhand on Tuesday, causing inconvenience to hundreds of patients who visited government hospitals to get treated for minor ailments and regular check-ups, becuse of an indefinite doctors' strike to protest the delay in payment of arrears as per the seventh pay commission. 

However, resident doctors offered their service at the emergency of the six hospitals, where most of the patients in need of immediate medical assistance were treated.   

The over 500 doctors of medical colleges in Jharkhand called for an indefinite strike and boycott of OPD services on Monday after talks between health authorities and the doctors failed to reach a consensus. The doctors wore a black badge on their arm at work since the beginning of March as a mark of protest against the government.

“Our fight is against the government’s lackadaisical approach towards resident doctors, and we have no intention to cause any inconvenience to patients,” said Convener of Jharkhand Resident Doctors Association (JRDA) Dr Ajit Kumar. “Even today, we treated patients in need of immediate attention at the emergency ward even though the OPDs were closed,” he added.

On Tuesday, the protesting doctors locked the main entry door of all OPDs, where patients usually get the first diagnosis done in case of any health issue. 

 

Patients formed a beeline outside the OPD at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi on Tuesday, clueless about whom to contact for assistance. Several patients had to wait for hours at the hospital before they could finally get to see a doctor, eyewitnesses said. However, patients with severe illness were treated on a priority basis, doctors said.

“If someone comes to us with a life-threatening ailment, then we will obviously treat the patient. But patients who visit medical colleges for eye tests or regular check-ups can wait for a week,” said Dr Kumar.

RIMS Director Dr Kameshwar Prasad and other senior authorities of the state-run hospital tried to get the OPD functioning several times during the day, but the protesting doctors ensured that OPD services remained suspended. The RIMS Director had on Monday said that senior and non-resident doctors will provide services at the OPD during the strike, but senior doctors did not turn up at the OPD in the first half of the day.  

All the resident doctors in the six medical colleges – Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College Hospital (MGM) in Jamshedpur, SNMMCH in Dhanbad, Palamu Medical College, Hazaribag Medical College and Dumka Medical College – have joined the protest in Jharkhand.

The doctors have alleged that they were not paid salary as per the seventh pay commission since 2016 to March 2019. On an average, each doctor is entitled to payment of arrears worth several lakh, they said.   



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