Resident doctors’ strike to hit routine & elective surgeries at Pune’s Sassoon Hospital - Hindustan Times
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Resident doctors’ strike to hit routine & elective surgeries at Pune’s Sassoon Hospital

ByVicky Pathare
Feb 21, 2024 10:37 PM IST

Emergency services will continue to be provided to ensure essential medical care during the strike, said doctors

Routine surgeries and procedures are bound to suffer at Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) as resident doctors of BJ Medical College will join the statewide indefinite strike beginning Thursday, 5 pm, announced by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD). However, emergency services will continue to be provided to ensure essential medical care during the strike, said the doctors.

At Sassoon Hospital, treatment is provided to around 2,500 to 3,000 patients on an outpatient department (OPD) basis and over 500 surgeries are performed daily. (HT FILE)
At Sassoon Hospital, treatment is provided to around 2,500 to 3,000 patients on an outpatient department (OPD) basis and over 500 surgeries are performed daily. (HT FILE)

At SGH, treatment is provided to around 2,500 to 3,000 patients on an outpatient department (OPD) basis and over 500 surgeries are performed daily. While the strike begins Thursday evening and surgeries will be performed in the morning, all routine surgeries at the hospital post lunch will grind to a halt.

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As per sources, SGH authorities have ordered all heads of departments, professors, doctors and officials on leave to immediately resume services. Doctors and professors have been instructed not to take any leave during the strike. The Pune police have been informed to take preventive measures to avoid any law-and-order issue during the strike. Planned surgeries and health campaigns have been postponed. Heads of departments have been directed to immediately discharge patients who are fit to be discharged.

Whereas the strike has been called due to unfulfilled demands and unresolved issues in connection with the living and working conditions of resident doctors. This will be the second such strike by resident doctors in 2024. Despite constructive engagement with the authorities and the latter’s assurances on Feb 7, regrettably, the commitments made to address the genuine concerns of the resident doctors remain unfulfilled even after two weeks, according to the protesting doctors.

“The promises including the immediate grant of necessary funds for hostel repairs and construction, regularisation of stipend payments with release of pending stipends and arrears, and a 10k stipend hike, were made in the meeting by deputy chief minister, Ajit Dada Pawar and minister of medical education, Hasan Mushrif Sir. However, the delay in executing these commitments has left us with no choice but to take decisive action to safeguard our rights and uphold our standards of patient care,” said the BJMC MARD doctors in their statement.

“We reiterate that patient care is our utmost priority, and it is with a deep sense of responsibility that we take this step. Our intention is not to disrupt services but to ensure that the authorities fulfil their obligations towards resident doctors, who are the backbone of the healthcare system. We urge the government to act swiftly and earnestly to address our demands within the stipulated time frame. Failure to do so will leave us with no option but to go on strike until justice is served,” said Nikhil Gattani, president, MARD BJMC.

Dr Vinayak Kale, dean, BJMC and SGH, said that the discussion is underway between the government and resident doctors and hopefully, the strike will not take place. However, they have made adequate arrangements in case the meeting yields no results and the strike does take place.

“The OPD is not likely to be hampered but all routine and elective surgeries will be hampered. Only emergency surgeries will be performed during the strike. During the strike, we will rope in professors, interns, and nursing students to provide the services,” said the dean.

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