Mumbra resident, Salman Sultan, 20, went to several hospitals and nursing homes on Friday to try admit his paralysed mother, Hasina, 42, who was suffering from breathlessness and needed to be put on a ventilator.
Sultan claimed that doctors at Sion hospital turned him away in the morning citing the resident doctors’ strike on Friday. Even at Nair Hospital, doctors refused to admit his mother, Sultan alleged. “The doctors were not understanding that my mother’s case is an emergency. I don’t know what to do,” said Sultan.
The second day of strike which began with resident doctors at Sion hospital refusing to work after their colleague was assaulted by angry relatives of deceased patient, saw doctors from JJ, Nair and KEM hospitals also joining the strike.
Nearly 2,000 resident doctors registered with the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) refused to perform their duties inconveniencing thousands of patients across the four public hospitals.
On Thursday morning, Dr Vishnu Dhadwad was assaulted by relatives of a 10-month-old girl. The resident doctors have refused to rejoin work unless security is beefed up in the hospital.
“Owing to the strike, we had our seniors working on Friday instead of holding classes. Our lecturers, professors and the head of the departments were all working extra shifts,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, director of major hospitals, BMC.
“But obviously the services were not the same as they are normally. About 50 % of the planned surgeries were conducted. Besides the trauma cases, emergency cases and caesarean surgeries were undertaken,” said Dr Oak.
Nearly 50% of the out-patient department patients were sent back. At KEM Hospital doctors normally treat about 6000 patients every day, but on Friday only 2000 patients got to see the doctors.
Many of the planned surgeries were postponed. At Nair Hospital, only three surgeries were performed on Friday compared to the 70 on normal days.
“The resident doctors are concerned primarily about the security in the hospitals. We have promised to enhance the security measures. Some measures were taken last month. We enforced that only two relatives can enter the ward with a pass. But this has to be enforced more effectively,” said Rajeev Jalota, the additional municipal commissioner who spoke to the resident doctors.