Over 4,000 patients did not get treated after a junior doctors’ strike paralysed out- patient services at New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, which treats 7,000 patients every day.
More than 500 junior doctors and postgraduate students at Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC), the teaching wing of Safdarjung Hospital, have been on “indefinite hunger strike” since 3.50 pm on Monday to draw attention to the lack of basic facilities such as safe drinking water and working elevators in the seven-storey building.
More patients are expected to be affected tomorrow when the hospital's resident doctors association also joins the strike.
“We are going to support the cause of junior doctors as their demands are legitimate,” said Dr Chandrabhan, president, resident doctors association.
“Our intention was not to harm the patients but the hospital authorities left us with no alternative,” said Karan Vats,
president, students welfare association (SWA) at VMMC.
“Repeated requests to the hospital administration and various affiliated bodies — such as the director general of health services and Indraprastha Guru Gobind University, to which the medical college is affiliated — have not helped,” said Raj Kumar, general secretary, SWA.
Safdarjung hospital director Dr Jagdish Prasad did not take calls from the reporter despite repeated attempts. Medical superintendent Dr N. K. Mohanty refused to comment.
The hospital administration suspended classes at VMMC for a week in the last week of April because the unventilated classrooms made it impossible for teaching to continue in the summer heat. Two students fainted while giving their exams in May.
Dr Prasad had then assured the students on April 23 that their demands would be addressed at but nothing has been done so far.