Around 1,500 doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital called for an indefinite strike Sunday after a resident doctor was manhandled by a Delhi Police head constable’s son.
Services at the emergency ward, in-patient and out-patient departments are likely to be affected on Monday, with more patients expected to visit the hospital on the first day of the week. The 1,600-bed multi-speciality hospital sees around 8,000-10,000 patients a day.
Police said Akshay Kumar (24), son of head constable Vinod, who is posted at Safdarjung Enclave police station, was taken to the hospital on Sunday morning after he complained of abdominal pain. But an argument broke out between Akshay and the duty doctor over the former allegedly not being given priority and the subsequent delay in treatment, a senior police officer said.
“Akshay allegedly punched the doctor, who sustained injuries on his nose. The accused left the spot right after the incident,” said the officer.
Police said a case under IPC sections 353/332/186/32 has been registered against the accused and an inquiry ordered into the incident. Police are also probing the role of a duty constable at the hospital who allegedly instigated the accused. The head constable and duty constable have been suspended, said police.
In a letter to the medical superintendent, doctors demanded better security. “Fifteen marshals per shift, including women marshals, along with 200 guards, should be deployed at the new emergency block… The hospital administration should also sanction risk and hazards allowance for resident doctors. We want the administration to take strict action against the accused. The strike will be called off once the demands are met,” said Dr Ashu Kumar Meena, vice-president, Resident Doctors’ Association of Safdarjung Hospital.
Dr K T Bhowmik, additional medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, said: “Whatever steps we could take in a day, we have done all of that. Most of the doctors’ demands have been met. But there are a few demands which they have been raising for a while… these cannot be met in a day. I have requested the doctors to rejoin services.”