Healthcare services were paralysed on Sunday morning at city's centre-run Safdarjung Hospital after resident doctors went on a sudden strike. The doctors were demanding security after relatives of a patient who died on Saturday afternoon attacked some of the staff.
Close to 1,200 resident doctors, including MBBS students, boycotted work on Sunday morning, causing inconvenience to hundreds of patients.
The resident doctors association decided to call off all services after a junior doctor, nurse and hospital guard were beaten up by the relatives of a patient.
Medical records state the patient, Prabhu, was admitted on Friday with jaundice and low haemoglobin level. "They held the doctor responsible for the death of the patient," said Dr Chandrabhan, president of the Resident Doctors Association, Safdarjung Hospital.
"This is not the first time that a doctor has been beaten up by angry relatives. In the past, when similar incidents occurred, we were promised enhanced security, but that never happened."
The doctors, who mostly man all wards and out-patient departments especially during the weekends, are now a demanding a permanent solution to this. "The strike will continue until issues of better security arrangement and safety of the doctors and nurses are permanently taken care of," Chandrabhan said.
Medical Superintendent Dr. M.K. Mohanty had reportedly called the association for talks to find a solution to the problem. However, despite several calls, Dr Mohanty wasn't available for comment.
Although the situation returned to normal by Sunday evening, the junior doctors are threatening to continue the boycott on Monday if the administration fails to solve the issue.
In June, too, the junior staff, including postgraduate students, interns and junior residents of the hospital, went on strike for two days to protest lack of basic facilities.