The 28-hour-long strike by resident doctors at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra was called off on Monday at 3 pm. The resident doctors resumed work after the police arrested a person for allegedly manhandling the medical staff and hospital authorities agreed to fulfill demands to beef up security at the hospital.
The doctors had launched an indefinite strike after relatives of an eight-day-old boy allegedly hit two doctors including a woman doctor in the paediatric intensive care unit at 11 pm on Saturday after the child died.
Though the Bandra police arrested the child’s father, Ijaz Sheikh, on Monday, the striking doctors had demanded an increase in the number security guards posted at sensitive areas such as the operation theatre and intensive care units to avoid any such incident in the future.
“We have specifically asked for more security guards. There are times when security guards at the main entrance allow several relatives of patients to enter without a valid visitor’s pass. This makes it difficult for us to manage the crowd in the wards,” said Dr Ankush Kolhe, resident doctor at the hospital.
The medical superintendent at Bhabha Hospital, Dr S Wadekar, said that the hospital has 40 security guards and they have been repositioned in the hospital to man the sensitive areas. He added that some action would be taken in a week’s time to meet the doctors’ demands.
Speaking about handling the hospital on strike, Dr Wadekar said, “While six emergency and normal surgeries could be conducted, we faced slight difficulty in handing the increasing number of patients at the out patient department.”
Sheikh was arrested under section 353 (Criminal force on public servant to discharge his duty), 323(Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (Act done by several people with a common intention) of IPC.
Patients unhappy at being inconvenienced
Though senior doctors at Bhabha Hospital tried their best to handle patients without resident doctors, several patients were unhappy at not getting a date for their surgery.
Zarina Sheikh, 65, and Sana Bhelekar, 26, admitted to the hospital since Saturday for gynaecological problems hope to get a date for their surgeries in a couple of days.
“I have asked the senior doctors to discharge me from hospital if they don’t perform the operation by Wednesday,” said Sheikh, a Nalasopara resident.
Bhelekar was given a surgery date on Monday which was postponed to Wednesday. She was upset as she has had to leave her five-year-old son with a relative and wants to get back home as soon as possible to take care of her son.
Laxmi Kambli, 35, arrived from Gulbarga in Karnataka to undergo a spine surgery at the hospital.
However, 10 days after being admitted, she was allotted a date for the surgery on Monday which got postponed.