Written by Jaspreet Singh
Doctors of GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, also joined the protest that was announced to begin Monday by The Association of Resident Doctors. Though the doctors are on protest, the emergency OPD of GMCH-32 was manned by two interns, five junior resident doctors, and two senior residents. While the protesting doctors complained about their long working hours and the harassment they are subjected to on a daily basis, the patients had to bear the brunt of the strike.
Dr. Nikita, a protester, said, “Doctors are soft targets. I registered a complaint with the police on June 14, when relatives of an unwell person tried to hurt me. They held my hand tightly while I was on-duty. No action has been taken till now.” Sub-Inspector Bhagwat Dyal of Sector 34, when contacted, said, “ We are investigating the matter. We have received a complaint from the patient’s side also. We will act after the investigation.”
Another doctor, who, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The hospital is understaffed. Sometimes we work for more than 12 hours. Whenever we deal with any critical case, our work extends to 20 hours. Most of the peripheral centers refer the patients to this tertiary-care hospital. These patients are obviously in critical condition but the relatives don’t accept this. There are nine ventilators in medicinal emergency and 14 in ICU, but every day we need ventilators for at least 25 patients.”
Dr. Aman Garg, who was staffed at the emergency ward, said, “I am working here without having even a drop of water. Doctors work so hard and yet the treatment meted out to us is really shocking. We are protesting to gain some security.”
The patients were hit the hardest by the doctors’ indefinite strike. Sukhjinder Singh from Ropar groused, “My wife, Gurpreet, is admitted here. Earlier, the doctors told us to come for her surgery Monday, but now they are calling us on Wednesday. It is not easy to travel back and forth every day.”
Another patient, Khushnaseeb, said, “I have come from Sarangpur. My daughter is admitted at GMCH-32 for eight days. Today, there were not many doctors on rounds.’’
Lucky, a resident of Ambala, said, “We are coming to the hospital for four days. My wife is in pain but no one is attending to her. “Waseem, who is accompanying his pregnant wife, said, “My wife is expecting. We registered online. We had an appointment with the doctor but the doctor never showed up. Now, we have been told to go to the emergency ward.”