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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

No end to strike by Delhi’s resident doctors, patients bear the brunt

🔴 More than 5,000 resident doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, RML, LNJP, Lady Hardinge Hospital and GTB Hospital had participated in the strike, boycotting all their duties.

Written by Abhinaya Harigovind | New Delhi |
Updated: December 19, 2021 8:38:02 am
Resident doctors from a few Centre-run hospitals during a protest march in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

The strike by resident doctors at several Centre-run hospitals in Delhi has left patients in the lurch.

Near the emergency block at Safdarjung Hospital on Friday, Praveen Kumar sat on the pavement, leaning against a wall with his leg in a cast. After an accident last month, a procedure was scheduled for his leg on Saturday and he was required to get admitted on Friday.

“We met a doctor who said that the surgery will not happen because of the strike. We were told to wait till Monday. This is the second time that it is being rescheduled. It was supposed to have happened earlier this month,” said Praveen, a resident of Faridabad, who plans on spending two days outside the hospital with his wife, rather than travel the long distance back home.

“The day will pass, but it’s going to get cold at night, and there is no hall or room to wait in,” said Praveen, who is on medication for the pain.

He was among several people camped out at the hospital, wrapped in blankets.

Krishna, a resident of Bareilly, arrived at Safdarjung with his brother on Friday morning. “They have refused to admit him. They asked us to come back on December 30. It was nearly impossible to get an ambulance all the way from Bareilly to Delhi. Now that we are here, where do we go?” he said.

His brother, who was on a stretcher outside the hospital, has been sick with abdominal problems, and they tried AIIMS the previous night, where they could not get him admitted, he said. The family was considering moving the patient to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital or Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

The situation was no different at RML Hospital. Zairuddin and his family were outside the emergency block for his six-year-old nephew. “We brought him here last night, but are yet to receive treatment. They told us there are no doctors and asked us to go to another hospital. Where do we go? We are five brothers, all labourers. Even if we pool in money, we won’t be able to afford even the tests in a private hospital,” he said. The child had dengue and typhoid initially, and now seems to have developed an infection, he said.

Resident doctors have been protesting the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling. Dr Manish, president of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) India, said that more than 5,000 resident doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, RML, LNJP, Lady Hardinge Hospital and GTB Hospital had participated in the strike, boycotting all their duties.

“The strike was called off last week after the doctors were given a verbal assurance that the counselling schedule will be released in a week. But that has not happened and we had to resume the strike,” he said.

At Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP), which is associated with the Maulana Azad Medical College, a patient waited in an e-rickshaw outside the emergency wing, along with her son. Her family said she needed a neurologist and was referred to LNJP from nearby GB Pant Hospital. They were refused entry into the emergency block at the hospital and had to leave after a wait.

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