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Patients suffer as medical staff go on strike in Ranchi govt. hospitals

By Mamatha

Ranchi, Aug 20 (ANI): A three-day strike, called by the nurses and junior doctors of state-run hospitals here, has badly affects the lives of the patients, and dismantled health services in the region.

The Jharkhand-unit of Trained Nurses Association of India and Junior Doctors Association have gone on a strike starting Tuesday to grab the attention of the authorities in order to fulfill their demands.

The protesting nurses were forced to convert their three-day strike into an indefinite one as the hospital authorities did not fulfill their six-point charter of demands within the prescribed deadline of Thursday.

"Because they refused to talk to us, we were forced to issue an ultimatum to our director in a bid to fulfill their six-point charter of demands. As a result of it, all the 384 nurses of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) were forced to go on an indefinite strike since August 19 night," said Rekha Rai, member of theTrained Nurses Association of India.

The nurses have demanded a revision in their pay as per the guidelines laid under the Sixth Pay Commission, while the nurses working on contractual basis are urging for regularized status.

The authorities, however, blame the protesting staff for creating unwanted problems for the patients and disrupting the functioning of the hospital.

"Director-in-chief and officials from the Health Department had come to hold talks with the staff but they refused to talk. They were not ready to hold talks with them. This shows that their intentions are not true and they are unnecessarily trying to create problems for us," said A. K. Mahto, Director, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

Junior doctors, have complained of the ill treatment they receive at the hands of the patients' attendants, and are demanding security provisions under the Medical Protection Law.

Amid all this, the real suffers are the patients who are lying unattended in these hospital wards and their attendants, who are running across the hospital premises for medical attention.

"We don't have money. Once we will get money then only we can book transport to shift the patient from here. 'We are helpless. They have told us, we will get all the required medical documents as there is no one to attend, everyone is on strike, and so you can make your own arrangements.' They have informed us, 'We will write down all the medications, so that you can get treatment elsewhere and once the strike is over then you can come back'," said Ranjit Chandravasni, a patient's attendant.

Trainee nurses and other paramedic staff have been employed to cater to the emergency needs in these hospitals. By Girija Shankar Ojha (ANI)

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