More than 300 students of medicine from Delhi’s Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, Bara Hindu Rao and Army College of Medical Sciences stopped work at the outpatient department in Safdarjung Hospital from 8am till noon on Monday.
The strike, which was to protest against authorities’ plan to shift the affiliation of 112 post graduation seats from Indraprastha University to Delhi University, was called off after the students received written assurances that the transfer would not happen.
The hospital receives around 7,000 patients daily in its OPD clinic. The strike caused inconvenience to many patients, who had come there for checkup or had been referred to the tertiary care hospital from other hospitals.
Asha Devi, 35, travels from Moradabad once every month to get her husband treated for stomach tumour. She, however, faced the closed gates when she came on Monday. “Now I will have to come again for his check up. Every time I come here, I have to leave my 6-year-old daughter at home,” she said. She also faces a loss of R150 which she earns everyday by doing odd jobs.
“We have been telling the patients that the emergency is functioning and they should go there if they are very unwell,” said a students’ representative. All other services, including the emergency, were functional at the hospital.
“I was authorised to give in writing to the students that the seats will not be moved to Delhi University,” said Dr AK Rai, the medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital.
He claimed that the delay in giving the written assurance was because the students prevented him from entering the office.