On Friday, as the staff of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital watched silently, 23 year-old Rajni delivered a baby girl on the threshold of the gynaecology ward. Mother and child were later shifted to Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital.
“My wife was in labour and calling for help, but these people just kept watching. We are not educated and cannot read newspapers to know which hospitals are on strike," said Rajni’s husband Raja.
But later that day, staff and medical students withdrew their strike and resumed work after the Medical Superintendent, Dr VK Ramteke, was transferred “in public interest.” "There are several cases being investigated by the vigilance department. There is no doubt that hospital management was not up to the mark and we have taken them to task by transferring the head,” said DS Negi, Health Secretary, Delhi government. The Dean of Maulana Azad Medical College, Arun Agarwal, took over as the Medical Superintendent.
During the past three days, over 10,000 patients were refused treatment as doctors, nurses and orderlies went on a strike, protesting against the weak security service and lack of basic facilities provided by the hospital.
Resident doctors went back to work late Friday evening, after the Health Ministry issued orders sanctioning 156 ex-servicemen to guard the premises. “As of now, our demands for enhanced security have been met. We have been assured that facilities will also improve. We were demanding trained security personnel and better communication between them, so that if there is a problem in one end of the hospital the doctors can call them for help,” said Dr Jitender Singla, president of the Resident Doctors’ Association. According to the new agreement, ex-servicemen will man the emergency gates and PCR vans will also be available inside the campus.