Over 270 resident doctors and interns at Government Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) Medical College and Hospital, Sola staged a dharna outside the collectorate on Monday demanding isolation facilities for them like other government medical colleges.
The protest was, however, called off after they were assured of an isolation facility by Tuesday. “If that is not done, we will continue with our strike,” a protesting intern said.
The demand became aggressive after nearly 30 medical and para medical staff of the Covid hospital tested positive in the last three days. These include five resident doctors, six interns and nearly eight nursing staff. In the 500 Covid-bed hospital, at present, there are around 280 patients. Besides, there are 150 intern doctors and 120 junior and senior resident doctors deployed on Covid-19 duty on a rotation basis.
“The doctors demanded accommodation facilities before too. Though the college authorities supported us on this but the order was pending at the collectorate office. A delegation had met the collector three days back but our demand wasn’t considered. We had already informed the authorities that if not fulfilled, we will stage a strike today and so we were forced to stage a protest,” said Dr Chintan Chaudhary, a junior resident doctor at the general surgery department. The resident doctors complained that with the lack of proper isolation facilities, they risk becoming superspreaders as they return to their hostels or homes after their duty.
Dr Pina Soni, medical superintendent at the hospital, said, “They already had hotel accommodation, I believe there was some additional requirement for which permission was required from GMERS dean Dr Nitin Vora. It has now been arranged.”
Dr Nitin Vora, dean at GMERS Sola, said, “We received a written representation on Saturday and a couple of days before that… they sought separate facilities for those on Covid-19 duty. As per the information I have, in the past couple of days some 18 medical and paramedical staff tested positive although the superintendent would have the correct figures. This (the issue of separate accommodation) otherwise comes under the medical superintendent. Their demands have been noted and are being processed.”
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