Resident doctors of at least 10 government hospitals went on a strike from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday, protesting against the lack of security arrangements in hospitals. The strike also brought patient services to a standstill.
Under the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) in Delhi, doctors met health authorities and resumed duties from Friday evening. They said they will go on an indefinite strike from Monday if their demands are not met in two days.
After four incidents of alleged manhandling of doctors by kin of patients over the last two months, FORDA had written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda on February 12. It sought improvement in security and better stock of surgical and medical consumables — such as the N95 masks for doctors managing H1N1 patients.
Doctors from Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia, Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), Maulana Azad Medical College, University College of Medical Science (UCMS) among others, remained on strike.
FORDA president Dr Balwinder Singh said, “Our colleagues at LHMC resumed duties despite their demands not being met. At UCMS, doctors had been on strike for four days. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain refused to meet us on Wednesday. We have resumed duties hoping the government will act. Otherwise, from next week, we will be forced to go on an indefinite strike — this time across all hospitals.”
Dr Ashish, from Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, said, “We have been trying to get the administration to listen to us… We are at the mercy of patient’s kin who often get aggressive.”
The strike also affected patient-care. At GTB hospital, OPDs remained largely vacant for the fourth consecutive day with many patients being turned away. Kamwati (28) from Narela, who is four months pregnant, had come for her scheduled check-up. However, she had to return without seeing a doctor after waiting for hours. “Why are patients not informed if there is a strike? We come from such far off places and there is nobody to attend to us,” Kamwati said.
Meanwhile, Satyendra Jain met representatives of the doctors over the last two days and assured them that their demands were being looked into.
“The demands for security are very legitimate, I had written to the Union Health Minister when LHMC doctors went on strike. We will try to address this problem. But doctors should not affect patient-care services by going on strike,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines