Resident docs’ strike at GNDH enters day 4; newborn referred out, dies at civil hospital
Health services at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH’s) out-patient department (OPD), surgical wards, operation theatres, medicine ward, emergency and gynaecology ward continued to be hit as senior and junior resident doctors, with medical students, continued their strike for the fourth consecutive day on Friday.Updated: Feb 09, 2019 12:16 IST
Health services at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH’s) out-patient department (OPD), surgical wards, operation theatres, medicine ward, emergency and gynaecology ward continued to be hit as senior and junior resident doctors, with medical students, continued their strike for the fourth consecutive day on Friday. Overall, 1,000-odd staff members are on strike. This is around 70% of the total employee strength.
The strike had started in protest against a guard at the hospital allegedly molesting two junior doctors on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. The protesters are also demanding the resignation of medical superintendent Dr Surinder Paul for making an ‘indifferent comment’ after the incident. For now, senior faculty doctors, including assistant professors and associate professors, have taken charge of patient-care services.
Dr Jaspinder Partap Singh, president, Resident Doctors’ Association, said, “We demand the resignation of MS as he performs duty in an inebriated condition. He also speaks inappropriately with women staff members. Security needs to be increased and CCTVs must be installed on hospital premises.”
‘No treatment for four days’
Patients, however, claim that check-ups are not happening regularly and treatment is being delayed. They also claim that most patients are being referred to other hospitals, including the Amritsar civil hospital.
Ram Kishore, 25, was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with severe burns. He has been left without treatment since the strike started. His brother Sukhdev Singh said, “We are not getting any treatment and medicines for four days. No doctor has visited our ward. We are not rich enough to shift to a private hospital.”
Balvinder Kaur, a patient, needs immediate surgery to treat a cyst in her stomach, but authorities claim that the best they can do is refer her to another hospital. “Doctors are giving us medicines and are not operating upon her. If they have senior doctors, they should help us.”
Due to the strike, patients have also stopped coming to the hospital. The emergency had only one patient, against the 10 it sees everyday.
Medical college vice-principal Dr Veena said, “The demand for the resignation of the MS is illogical. If doctors will not lift their protest, senior doctors will start a stir against them for disturbing health services.”
Blame game over death of 4-day-old
With health services not being delivered, the four-day-old son of Rashpal Singh and Kawaljit Kaur admitted at the GNDH since birth, was referred to the civil hospital. However, with no oxygen support being given during transit and alleged improper treatment at the civil hospital, he died on Thursday.
“No services have been affected due to the strike by protesting doctors. Senior doctors, who are in charge of services, are responsible for this death,” the RDA president claimed. A gynaecologist Dr Balvinder Kaur said, “The administration is responsible for his death. Doctors should lift the protest and should resume services in the emergency ward.”
Patients left in the lurch
Over 70% of staff strength on strike; resident docs demand resignation of medical supdt and increased security in hospital; row started over alleged molestation of two junior docs by a guard.
A patient was helped by his own relative as the GNDH referred him to another hospital in Amritsar on Friday, as striking resident doctors and medical students raise slogans outside the emergency ward of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar on Friday.
First Published: Feb 09, 2019 12:15 IST