POST-GRADUATE students of the Radiotherapy Department of Gandhi Medical College (GMC) on Monday struck work by remaining on mass casual leave and demonstrated in front of the emergency ward of the Hamidia Hospital to protest the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the hospital administration and the State Government towards problems of students and patients.
A section of cancer patients and also some undergraduate students came out in support of junior doctors and raised slogans. These junior doctors will continue their agitation in the form of mass casual leave on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, all junior doctors of Gandhi Medical College will participate in a token strike between 9.00 am and 11.00 am, in support of their radiotherapy counterparts.
Meanwhile, PG students held discussions with GMC dean Dr M K Saraswat, who reportedly assured them that he would take up the matter with the principal secretary of medical education.
Dr Shrikant Khare – one of the PGs – told Hindustan Times the dean asked them to call off their strike but failed to give any written assurance following which the PGs decided to continue the strike on Tuesday.
The main demand of the junior doctors is steps for securing recognition of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for the department and ensuring adequate facilities for poor cancer patients.
These PG students have said since its establishment in 1994, the Radiotherapy Department has not been able to get Medical Council of India recognition and owing to this the PGs who have passed out could not get Government jobs.
Similarly, lack of basic facilities including separate ward for the cancer patients and non-functional therapy machines were causing severe hardships to patients, but college authorities or the State Government was paying no attention to the matter despite bringing problems to their notice time and again.
The fact that the State Government has been diverting huge grants meant for the department to private hospitals was adding to the woes of the department.
A PIL by the students has, however, led the Jabalpur High Court to order a stay on the release of any further grants to private institutes by the Government.
JNCH refutes allegations
JAWAHAR LAL Nehru Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (JNCH) has refuted allegations of radiotherapy postgraduate students of the Gandhi Medical College that the centre had not honoured the MoU signed between the two institutes.
In a rejoinder JNCH head of radiotherapy Dr RK Pandey stated there had not been a single occasion when the centre refused to cooperate with the GMC radiotherapy department.