Thousands of patients would be left in the lurch on Thursday, as the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has given a call for a 'medical bandh' due to which out-patient departments (OPDs) in major hospitals will remain closed.
Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital doctors have given their support to the IMA call and decided to close OPDs and wear black badges as a mark of protest. Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and Guru Teg Bhadur Hospital will also keep their OPDs closed.
However, emergency services will remain open in all medical institutions.
The IMA has given a bandh call to protest against the alleged atrocity of police and administration at Kanpur with medical students and doctors.
IMA Punjab president Dr Manoj Sobti said, "All medical practitioners will keep their OPDs closed on Thursday, though emergency services will not be affected."
He said, "This movement is not against the people. As doctors also have human rights, the recent incidents against doctors have compelled us to take this step."
IMA doctors and other major hospitals have decided to show solidarity with the move by closing their OPDs also.
IMA Ludhiana has nearly 1,000 doctor members. Most of the members have private clinics and hospitals where the OPDs will remain closed.
Doctor's Circle, an association of doctors in the city, has also decided to support IMA in the bandh.
Dr Narotam Dewan, president of Doctor's Circle, said, "Brutality with medical students at Kanpur reminded us of Aurangzeb's rule. We appeal to all doctors to shut down their services on Thursday and wear black badges to mark protest."
CMCH and Apollo OPD to remain open
Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and Apollo Hospital have decided against closing their OPDs. CMCH director Dr AG Thomas said, "We will show our solidarity for the call by wearing black badges but our OPD will remain open." Associate vice-president at Apollo Hospital, Sukhvinder Singh, said the hospital would function as usual.
Common man at the receiving end
Aimed at protesting against the authorities, the bandh call by doctors would ultimately cause harassment to the common man.
City-based social activist Radhika Jaitwani said, "What happened with doctors at Kanpur should be condemned, but still what's the fault of the common man, who will not be able to consult doctors due to the medical bandh? I think doctors should find out another way that should affect only authorities concerned, instead of the common man."
Defending the IMA decision, Dr Deepak Parasher, secretary, IMA Ludhiana, said, "For doctors every patient is equal. They don't discriminate on the basis of social status, sex, etc. How else can we convey our protest and anger if not by closing the OPDs?"