Putting patients to undue hardship, junior doctors extend strike for indefinite period

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 5: Putting the life of large number of patients on risk, the junior doctors of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Jammu, today extended their ongoing strike for indefinite period.
As many as over 500 junior doctors continued to remain off-duty on 2nd day today crippling healthcare services and putting patients to undue hardships.
Over 2000 patients used to visit the hospital everyday for medical counseling and treatment, with majority of them belonging to low income groups. People are now forced to visit private hospitals for treatment.
“We are poor people. We visit Government hospitals in hope of getting medical treatment. But these business-minded people have ruined the profession,” said Ranjeet Singh, a patient from Jourian in Akhnoor.
Although the hospital administration claimed to have made alternate arrangements to maintain the services, the consequences of the strike were clearly visible. A huge rush of patients was witnessed in Emergency Section; the patients were seen waiting in OPDs of almost every department while the indoor patients also faced problems.
The on-duty senior doctors overworked due to huge turnout of the patients on Thursday. Hospital sources said that the surgeries have been postponed due to ongoing junior doctors’ strike.
The junior doctors of GMCH are on strike protesting against alleged assault of a colleague at the hospital on Tuesday night.
“Incidents like this which happened on Tuesday with our female colleague scare us. We are here to look after people but nobody cares for our security. We want proper security. We cannot work like this”, said a junior doctor.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at hospital premises this evening, working president of Junior Doctors’ Association, Dr Neeraj Sharma said, “We have decided to go on an indefinite strike, as administration failed to take action against the accused attendant who had allegedly assaulted a female resident doctor on Tuesday”.
Another leader of Association, Dr Akhil alleged that as the accused was close to some political leaders, the hospital administration did not file a formal police complaint against her. He claimed that all junior doctors including Post Graduate Resident doctors and senior resident doctors of the hospital are on indefinite strike.
“We will call off the strike only when a formal complaint is registered against the accused and we are assured of the safety and security of the doctors working here,” he added.
Later, in a meeting of Resident Doctors from various departments, an executive committee of Resident Doctors’ Association, GMC Jammu and Associated Hospitals was framed. The members of the committee include Dr Neeraj Sharma as president and spokesperson, Dr Vinod Katil, Dr Varun Sharma, Dr Waseem Chouhan, Dr Manav Gupta, Dr Zaheer Abbas and Dr Sajan, DR Romil Sharma, Dr Talib, Dr Vijay Vikas, Dr Rajinder Thaploo, Dr Kanav Padha, Dr Sunita Jamwal, Dr Narinder Singh and Dr Sudesh Singh as organizing secretaries, Dr Zulfikar Ali, Dr Akhil Gupta, Dr Prince Raina, Dr Bishan Singh Thakur and Dr Jyoti Gupta as joint secretaries.
Soon after the meeting, Neeraj Sharma said until our burning demands including immediate lodging of FIR against the attendants involved in the assault, the restriction of two attendants with one patient in emergency, reasonable representation to the concerned higher ups by the Principal for making assault on hospital staff or damage to hospital property a non-bailable offence and swift action for lodging FIR ( within 1 hour) if any such untoward incident occurred in future, are met in letter and spirit  we will not call off the strike.
“Also, the RDA wants a thorough inquiry into the reinstatement of a tainted CMO without any inquiry at the behest of the Principal”, he added.
Taking serious note of strike called by junior doctors in GMCH, Shri Ram Sena (SRS) Jammu and Kashmir has strongly criticized the strike posture of junior doctors in GMCH as a “pressure tactics” to hide their own faults in delivery of medical treatment to the patients.
SRS State president, Rajiv Mahajan said it is very unfortunate that junior doctors every now and then call for strike and demand proper security instead of mending their own behavior with the patients and their attendants in respect of health care.
Mahajan said,” If any patient’s attendant misbehaves with any doctor, a report should be lodged against the offender and law takes its own course. There is no logic to go on strike and putting thousands of innocent patients at hardship due to someone’s fault”.
He appealed Director Health and Medical Services Jammu to personally look into this sensitive issue and take immediate steps to restrain junior doctors from going on strike on trivial issues and maintain work culture in the interest of innocent patients.

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