Doctors’ strike claims four lives

Three patients in Allahabad and one in Kanpur died in absence of proper medical care as the strike by junior doctors of five medical colleges dragged on for the fourth day.

Written by Express News Service | Kanpur/ Allahabad | Published: July 4, 2009 1:46 am

Three patients in Allahabad and one in Kanpur died in absence of proper medical care as the strike by junior doctors of five medical colleges dragged on for the fourth day.

Friday’s talks between the doctors and M C Sharma,the Director General,Medical Education,in Lucknow,were inconclusive. Anand Swaroop,Principal,GSVM college,Kanpur,said: “In the meeting,the government has made it clear that they should end their strike unconditionally. The DG,however,has assured the delegation that the non-practicing allowance of junior

residents at CSMMU will be withdrawn.” Kanpur and Allahabad districts are bearing the brunt of the strike.

At Kanpur’s Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital,23-year-old Raju Lal admitted in the Burns Unit,expired on Friday morning. Blaming the strike for his death,his father Chote Lal said: “Raju was admitted on June 27. During the strike,senior doctors rarely visited the Burns Unit and he did not receive treatment.”

In Allahabad’s Moti Lal Nehru Medical College and its Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital (SRN),three patients died on Friday.

Beni Prashad (65),an accident victim and a resident of Meja,was to undergo an operation,which did not happen because of the strike. “We requested the authorities to conduct the operation,but they did not listen to us,” said his son Ravi.

The other victim of the strike was Jung Bahadur (45),a retired Army personnel. He was admitted on Monday with a severe problem in his stomach and died on Friday afternoon. A 22 year old woman who sustained burn injuries,died as well.

Over half the patients admitted at the 1,100-bed LLR Hospital have either shifted to private hospitals or returned home. Rashid Ali,who came to meet his ailing sister,said: “Only those patients who are not in a condition to move around are still in the hospital.” Though around 1,700 patients turn up at the hospital daily,the number has dwindled to less than 900. Even the Emergency services have been affected — of the 100 beds,only 42 were occupied on Friday.

The Superintendent-in-Chief of the hospital,Dr VN Tripathi,said: “Though a few patients have left,we are making all possible efforts to provide treatment.” The duty hours of senior doctors have been extended and services of interns and doctors from Provincial Medical Health Services are also being taken,he added.

Wearing Gandhi caps and holding red roses,the doctors,meanwhile,held a protest march from the LLR Hospital to GSVM Principal Office and pledged to carry out the protest till their demands were met.

“Neither the Sixth Pay Commission nor the Rizvi Committee recommendations are being uniformly implemented in the state-run medical colleges,” said Rahul Dev,a striking doctor. The residents at the King George Medical University get a better salary package than their colleagues elsewhere,he said.

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