Patients heaved a sigh of relief on Friday as health services resumed at MY Hospital, the largest government hospital of central India, after the Junior Doctors Association (JUDA) called off a four-day strike.
The junior doctors reported to the hospital at 2 pm on Friday and resumed work at the 950-bed hospital, which caters to nearly 5,000 patients in out-patient departments (OPD) every day.
Earlier in the day, the OPD section and wards wore a deserted look and most of the patients were forced to return home as the junior doctors had not turned up for work.
Health services at the government hospital was crippled as more than 300 junior doctors had gone on an indefinite strike from Tuesday afternoon after the relatives of a patient assaulted Dr Mohit Naredi and injured him.
Following the assault on Dr Naredi, who is also a president of JUDA (Indore unit), the junior doctors boycotted both the emergency and outdoor patient departments (OPDs)and went on indefinite strike.
JUDA secretary Dr Ruchi Joshi said the association had called off the strike after a meeting with the administration officials, who had assured them that the demands would be met.
"All of our demands were accepted by the administrative officials and following this, we got back to work," Dr Joshi said.
The meeting was attended by Dr Naredi and Dr Joshi on behalf of JUDA, along with MY Hospital dean Dr MK Rathore, sub-divisional magistrate Sapana Jain, city superintendent of police, Sanyogitaganj, SM Zaidi.
Dr Rathore said the issue of lack of security at the hospital building was discussed during the meeting on Friday.
"We have agreed to all of their demands of filing an FIR to give them legal protection, reviewing security arrangements at the hospital, deploying extra guards at the hospital and setting-up a buzzer system in the building," he said.
"At present, 48 guards are posted at the hospital. We are looking to deploy four more guards. Apart from that, the hospital will install buzzers at different floors, so that in an untoward situation, they can be called by pressing a buzzer," he said.
When asked if action would be taken against the security agency of the hospital, he said: "We have sent them a letter and asked them to present their clarification within a month. There is provision of penalty or amendment in the contract, if security lapses are found," he said.
Junior doctors had earlier alleged lapses in the security arrangements that led to the assault.