Even as resident doctors from government hospitals went on mass leave on Thursday in support of their counterparts in Maharashtra who are on strike, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) has called for a strike at both private and government hospitals Friday. However, the association said in-patient services and the emergency ward will remain functional. Meanwhile, doctors will wear black armbands to work in a show of solidarity. Sir Gangaram Hospital, in a statement said, OPD services will be shut Friday. “Our hospital expresses solidarity with the concerns of Indian Medical Association and DMA regarding the safety of doctors. General and private OPDs of our hospital will not function tomorrow. However, in-patient as well as emergency services will function normally,” said Dr D S Rana, chairman, Board of Management, Sir Gangaram Hospital.
On Thursday, OPD services were hampered in the morning due to the mass leave but emergency services were unaffected. “Even though resident doctors were on mass leave, some helped out in the emergency ward throughout the day. While services were hit significantly in the operation theatre, no other services were affected,” said Pankaj Solanki, Federation of Resident Doctors Association president — an umbrella body of residents doctors in Delhi. At Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, resident doctors were on leave between 9 am and 4 pm. Dr J C Passey, medical director, said while emergency services remained functional, the OPD was not functioning at its full strength as only senior doctors reported for duty.
“No amount of security measures can guarantee that what happened in Maharashtra will not happen here. The general public needs to realise that doctors are overworked and that we cannot save everyone,” he added. FORDA added that they might go on indefinite mass leave after Saturday if the Maharashtra government does not act according to their demands. The DMA has also planned to carry out a protest march at Maulana Azad Medical College on Friday.
“Incidents of assault on doctors are rising everyday… Patients and their relatives are taking the law into their hands, which is not acceptable,” DMA state secretary Dr Ashwani Goyal said. There have been several instances of doctors being beaten up by attendants of patients in Delhi over the past few years. The latest incident was reported from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in March last year, when two doctors were beaten up by attendants of an accident victim.