KEM Hospital in disarray
Most services at King Edward Memorial Hospital, the city’s biggest civic hospital with an average daily patient turnover of 5,000, came to a standstill on Tuesday as about 700 of its resident doctors went on a day-long flash strike.india Updated: Feb 11, 2009 00:44 IST
Most services at King Edward Memorial Hospital, the city’s biggest civic hospital with an average daily patient turnover of 5,000, came to a standstill on Tuesday as about 700 of its resident doctors went on a day-long flash strike. Only interns remained on duty to attend to emergencies.
The doctors were protesting against an alleged assault on five of their colleagues by a patient’s relatives the previous night. The doctors finally called the strike off on Tuesday night after police arrested five of the relatives and booked them under a non-bailable offence. Civic authorities suspended four security guards the doctors believe ought to have prevented the relatives from entering the hospital. The police suspect eight others were involved in the incident.
Hospital officials said that on Monday about 10 to 15 relatives of Balkrishna Vasudev (70), who died 20 minutes after he was admitted at 5.45 pm, attacked five resident doctors over an argument about the dead man’s post-mortem.
Two doctors, whom the relatives hit with tables and chairs, were admitted with severe head and back injuries, while three others were discharged after treatment.
“Services were severely hit,” said Dr Pravin Bangar, senior medical officer. Said a senior doctor on condition of anonymity: “Resident doctors are vital. They manage wards, prepare for surgeries, collect blood and take care of out-patients.”
The mood at the hospital was sombre. Authorities were busy in meetings all day, while patients milled about asking for information.
“It took me three-and-a-half hours to come here from my village,” complained Vijay Salve. “My mother-in-law has been ill for the past three months. The primary health centre at home can’t treat her. But the hospital is just not admitting her.”