Services in private hospitals unaffected by doctors’ strike
14,000 doctors in the city are expected to not attend OPDs between 6am and 6pm todaymumbai Updated: Jan 03, 2018 09:38 IST
The 12-hour strike by doctors affiliated to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) ended with the National Medical Commission Bill, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with a new body, being deferred.
The IMA, Maharashtra, said more than 50,000 members working in private hospitals took part in the Tuesday’s strike. However, major private hospitals ensured that a few doctors remained on-duty to attend to patients who had taken prior appointments.
The IMA, which claims to have about 3,00,000 members nationally, asked hospitals to keep their outpatient departments (OPDs) shut to protest against a government bill that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI). The IMA has termed the new Bill, which was introduced in the Parliament on Friday, ‘anti-people and anti-patient’.
“The strike was a huge success and apart from a few corporate hospitals, which asked the doctors to remain on duty, OPDs in most private hospitals remained shut from 6am to 6pm. The NMC Bill will now be discussed in the standing committee of health in Lok Sabha, where our members will provide valuable inputs to make necessary amendments to the members of the committee,” said Dr Parthic Sanghvi, treasurer, IMA Maharashtra.
Major hospitals in Mumbai said their OPD services remained unaffected. Ram Naraine, executive director of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, said doctors showed their support to the protest by wearing black bands but the OPDs ran smoothly. “All the OPDs in the hospital were running and patients weren’t affected by the strike,” he said.
Dr Rajendra Patankar, chief operating officer, Nanavati Hospital, said a few doctors remained absent from the OPDs. “While a few of the OPDs are running, others are shut owing to the strike. But in any case, the in-patient care is not affected at all and it’s running smoothly with involvement of all the doctors,” he said.
Doctors said they informed patients with prior appointments about their absence in the OPDs. “We asked the patients to come after 6pm, after the strike was over. Moreover, most of us we are available at the hospital in case of an emergency. OPDs are mostly non-emergency cases and rescheduling appointments won’t affect patients,” said Dr Pradip Shah, Fortis Hospital.
Other hospitals asked their doctors to attend to patients who couldn’t be informed about the strike. “The decision to call for a strike was finalised late night [on Monday], so not all the patients could be informed. So we asked the doctors to attend to the patients who had prior appointments, as they ahd started visiting the hospital since morning,” said N Santhanam, chief executive officer, Breach Candy hospital.
Hospitals said that patients didn’t face any inconvenience. “All the surgeries took place as scheduled and we are sending the OPD patients with even little bit medical complication to the emergency wards so that he or she can avail treatment. However some of the OPDs are shut and the patients with prior appointments are informed,” said Huzaifa Shehabi, COO of Saifee Hospital.