February 27, 2009 1:18:15 am
Angered with the district administration after it sealed the premises of seven doctors,the medical fraternity in Modasa pulled down the shutters and discharged patients on Thursday.
Elsewhere,medical stores and pathology laboratories also joined in the protest.
The Sabarkantha district authorities had cracked down on the doctors following the recovery of used syringes and needles during a raid at the premises of a scrap dealer on Wednesday.
The raid had come in the wake of reports that the mutated Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) had spread due to the use of infected syringes and needles.
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The questioning of Savji Rabari,the scrap dealer,led the authorities to the scrap collectors,who told them the name of doctors as well as the Ghanchi Sarvodaya Mandal run Trust Hospital.
The authorities sealed the premises of six doctors,while letting the trust-run 100-bed hospital function,as it had witnessed an influx of patients.
Till late on Thursday evening,Modasas medical fraternity were locked in a meeting with the Sabarkantha district collector hoping to break the impasse.
Dr Yogesh Upadhyaya,the Modasa secretary of the Indian Medical Association,who had called the strike,said: This does not make any sense at all. The doctors have the papers in order; their biomedical waste certificates are there; there is also the clearance from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board. Why are they linking the mutated Hepatitis B case with this?
The private doctors have now said that the health authorities are on a witch-hunt,and that unsafe medical practices continue despite routine checks by the authorities.
Are we saying that no unused syringe was sold earlier,or that expired stock was not sold before the outbreak. Why were there no raids or police cases then, said an angry private medical practitioner in Modasa.
The six doctors whose consulting premises were sealed in Modasa and against whom police cases have been registered include Dr Prakash Gandhi,Dr H D Shah,Dr Dilip Shah,and Dr Suresh Shah.
Dr Jamil Khanji,the Superintendent of Ghanchi Arogya Mandal Trust Hospital said: A compounder,Kantibhai,has been named by the scrap collectors. We follow norms but what can we say. We will continue to function in the larger public interest.
With patients panicking and private doctors shutting shop to protest against the strict posture by the health authorities,the 100-bed hospital,the second trust-run hospital in town,is witnessing an influx of around 400 patients a day in its OPD.
Meanwhile,the police are still searching for Dr Govind Patel and his son Dr Chintan Patel,against whom charges of culpable homicide have been framed.
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