The strike organised by resident doctors of the Safdarjung Hospital was called off on Thursday evening,after administrative authorities at the hospital and senior officials from the Health Ministry assured them their grievances would be addressed.
However,the strike that began on Wednesday evening,over longstanding administrative and service related complaints,sent the hospital into chaos for a day.
The out-patient department was severely hit,with barely two or three senior consultants manning most departments. Surgeries were mostly put off and the emergency was filled to capacity,with 2-3 patients on every bed.
Medical superintendent Dr B D Athani said the emergency services were not halted. Some departments such as radiology,medicine,orthopaedics,gynaecology and anaesthesia were affected. But,nearly 60-70 per cent of resident doctors in the critical care departments reported for duty. We also registered about 3,700 patients at the OPD, Dr Athani said.
But several patients complained they were asked to go to the emergency after registering in the OPD.
Banarsi Mehto (65),from Najafgarh,who was diagnosed with multiple kidney stones two weeks ago,had come to the hospital on Thursday to get a date for his surgery. But he had to return after waiting at the OPD. I spent Rs 400 to travel here,and now Ill have to come back again.
Several trauma patients were referred to AIIMS Trauma Centre. With the radiology department at Safdarjung Hospital closed,many head injury and orthopaedics patients were referred to AIIMS for X-ray and CT scans.
A senior doctor at AIIMS Trauma Centre said,The number of patients at our centre swelled by about 40 per cent.
Resident doctors,who were protesting over delay in disbursement of salary,lack of adequate security measures and hospital orderlies and a severe crunch in hostel accommodation,said Ministry officials had promised them a timeline to address their concerns by next Tuesday.
Dr Sameer Prabhakar,spokesperson of the Resident Doctors Association,said if they were not satisfied by Tuesdays report,doctors would resume the strike.