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Docs on strike, patients quit PGI

MEDICAL SERVICES at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Science (SGPGIMS) came to a grinding halt as the resident doctors at the institute joined the anti-reservation protest on Friday. The very first day of the indefinite strike triggered mass ?forced? exodus of patients, from different parts of north India, lodged at this super-specialty hospital. This is probably for the first time in the history of the institute that such a large number of patients had to leave the hospital on a single day.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 01:16 IST

MEDICAL SERVICES at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Science (SGPGIMS) came to a grinding halt as the resident doctors at the institute joined the anti-reservation protest on Friday. The very first day of the indefinite strike triggered mass ‘forced’ exodus of patients, from different parts of north India, lodged at this super-specialty hospital.

This is probably for the first time in the history of the institute that such a large number of patients had to leave the hospital on a single day. This is also the first time when the PGI resident doctors went on a strike that is not internal, nor within the purview of the PGI administration. Another first to the strike came in the form of many faculty members openly expressing solidarity with the issue that they raised. Many faculty members too wore black ribbons.

Meanwhile, RDA president Dr Amit Goyal announced that they would demonstrate at GPO park on Saturday and students of King Georges Medical University, Lucknow University and various private dental colleges and degree colleges too would join the demonstration.

No new registrations or operations could take place. Nor was dialysis carried out. Patients were seen leaving the hospital in rows—on wheelchairs and stretchers—while the resident doctors raised slogans. Till the evening, about 150 patients had left the hospital for private nursing homes, guest houses or homes.

It is noteworthy that SGPGIMS caters to entire UP, Bihar, Nepal, Madhya Pradesh and some more parts of the country for super-specialty treatment.

RDA president Dr Amit Goyal and general secretary Dr Himanshu Goyal said that now it was a knowledge-driven world and economy and though India had been making rapid strides, such anti-democratic policies would be detrimental.

“We demand status quo. We are totally against any further reservations in centres of higher learning,” said Dr Amit Goyal.

The RDA vociferously flayed the lathicharge on protesting medical students in Mumbai a few days ago and the latest lathicharge on protestors in Patna. It said that irrespective of whether a group was pro or against quota, it should be heard.

“A delegation of PGI resident doctors is also going to meet the IIM-L students asking them to join the protest,” said Dr Amit Goyal.

The RDA protest involved intense sloganeering from 10 am and continued even when the rain started lashing the city.

A small faction of resident doctors led by Dr Narendra Verma stayed away from the strike.

The PGI administration had an hour-long talk with the RDA, asking it to withdraw the strike considering hospital services, but the RDA has refused. The PGI administration so far has not issued any warning to the RDA.