Monday, 30th October 2017

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Bhojpur DM defiant, doctors continue strike

Bodyguards at DM Sanjeev Kumar's residence had apparently manhandled doctors

By Shuchismita Chakraborty in Patna
  • Published 23.11.18, 12:04 AM
  • Updated 23.11.18, 9:16 AM
  • 2 mins read
Bhojpur district magistrate Sanjeev Kumar Telegraph picture

The state chapter of the Indian Medical Association and the Bihar Health Services Association on Thursday decided to continue the doctors’ strike in outpatient departments of state government hospitals for two more days to protest the alleged manhandling of three Ara Sadar Hospital physicians by the Bhojpur district magistrate Sanjeev Kumar’s bodyguards.

The district magistrate (DM), in turn, served show-cause notices to two of the three doctors asking in which capacity they had reached his residence and made much hue and cry after he summoned another doctor and not the duo. The DM also lodged FIR against the doctors under Section 107 the IPC (abetment), said Dr Naresh Kumar, one of the show-caused duo and office-bearer of the Bhojpur unit of the Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA).

Sources said that on Tuesday the DM had summoned to his residence Dr T.A. Ansari for failing to attend a videoconferencing session. Two other doctors, Arun Kumar and Naresh Prasad, rushed there. The DM claims that Arun and Prasad raised an unnecessary hue and cry, while the doctors allege that the DM made his bodyguards rough up the trio. Doctors at state government hospitals have boycotted OPD services since Wednesday over the incident.

Patients suffer

Poor patients bore the brunt of the strike.

“My wife is suffering from acute pain and bleeding. I brought her for a check-up at the OPD but after reaching here I got to know about the doctors’ strike,” said Mohammad Abdul, a labourer from Pakur in Jharkhand, at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH) in Bhagalpur. “Now I will have to take her to some private hospital, but I may not be able to buy the expensive medicines a private doctor gives.”

JLNMCH superintendent Dr R.C. Mandal said doctors were present in the emergency wing and no critical patient would go without treatment.

In Bhojpur district, doctors boycotted OPD as well as emergency work at all hospitals. Private doctors also kept their clinics shut in solidarity with the government doctors.

Services remained paralysed in at the Munger sadar hospital OPD, forcing about 300 patients to return without treatment. “I am suffering due to asthma. I came to Munger sadar hospital for treatment but there was neither any doctor nor any staff to treat me at the OPD,” said Shobha Devi, 40, of Hemjapur village.

OPD services were paralysed in government hospitals in Gaya and Bettiah as well.

Physicians adamant

The Bhojpur branch of the BHSA decided to continue their agitation till the transfer of the DM, institution of criminal case against him, constitution of a medical board to assess his mental health, and replacing DMs with civil surgeons as chairpersons of district health societies.

Ara sadar hospital doctors will boycott OPD as well as emergency work till the demands were met. The doctors gave 10 days’ time to the state government to take action.

Earlier, principal health secretary Sanjay Kumar said the department had held talks with the medical associations.

Additional reporting by Gautam Sarkar, Rajiv Nayan Agrawal, Shrikrishna Prasad, Rabi Bhushan Chaturvedi, Farhana Kalam and Nishit Kumar