At least seven patients at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) died on Wednesday due to lack of treatment following a flash strike by junior doctors that started after midnight, officials said.
The doctors have threatened to stay away from work for 24 hours if action was not taken against police officials who lathicharged them a few days back injuring some of them. “Seven critical patients died due to lack of treatment following the strike by PMCH junior doctors on Wednesday morning which has badly hit emergency and Out Patient Department (OPD) services,” an official said.
Over 500 striking doctors left hundreds of patients unattended from early Wednesday morning despite a large number of them being referral cases by local doctors from across the state requiring urgent attention.
“There is a panic-like situation among relatives of the patients,” a PMCH official said adding, “particularly those who are lying in serious condition in emergency ward and those operated in different wards as junior doctors have not attended them.”
Junior doctors were adamant not to resume work unless action was taken against the police officials involved in the lathicharge during a counselling session. Rowdy incidents during the session had prompted the police action. The striking doctors have also demanded withdrawal of FIRs filed against innocent medical students.
Meanwhile, hundreds of patients, mostly the poor, who arrived at the hospital from across the state, were worried over no medical facilities being provided to them. “We are the real victims of the strike because there is no doctor to attend to our patients,” said Mahesh Kushwaha of Vaishali district, who came here two days ago to get his wife treated at the PMCH.
Most patients were forced to shift to private nursing homes. Satender Yadav, a parent worried over his son’s health, said: “There is no doctor to attend to the patients.”
“Those who cannot afford treatment outside have been left in the lurch,” an official said. Medical brokers have become active and were taking advantage of the situation, a patient’s relative at the PMCH premises said. The brokers were luring the relatives of critical patients to admit them at private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.