Resident doctors' strike at Safdarjung Hospital called off
New Delhi, Jan 15: The strike called by the resident doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital was called off on Monday evening after the administration agreed to their demand of increased security on the medical institution's premises.
Emergency services at the hospital this morning were affected as the doctors stayed away from work for he second day after a Delhi Police head constable's son, who had come for treatment at the Centre-run hospital on Sunday, allegedly punched a doctor.
With patients facing a tough time, Additional Secretary Sanjeeva Kumar at the Health Ministry Monday held a meeting with officials from the hospital administration and a delegation of resident doctors.
In the meeting, it was decided that 18 marshals will be deployed as an interim arrangement. In addition, the proposal for 30 extra marshals will be submitted by the hospital for approval to the Health Ministry, the minutes of the meeting said.
While selecting these marshals, a representative from the Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) will also be associated. Additional 100 security guards from the SSB will be deployed immediately and a committee will also be formed which will submit its report within two weeks after assessing the requirement of a number of security guards and marshals at the hospital premises, the Health Ministry officials said. They said they will also look into the demands for hostel rooms made by the RDA.
Patients this morning alleged that they were facing a harrowing time due to the paucity of doctors even as senior faculty members and para-medical staff tried to keep services running at the emergency department.
On Monday, an 18-year-year accident victim, who was admitted to the hospital's emergency section on Saturday, succumbed to injuries with his family alleging that he had not received proper treatment because of the strike. He was referred to Safdarjung from a hospital in Gurgaon.
"My brother was referred to this hospital on Saturday and on Sunday the resident doctor went on strike after which patients were not being attended to properly.
"We also requested that our brother is referred to another hospital but nothing was done and he died today morning," the elder brother of the deceased said. In another incident, a family alleged that a 20-year-old woman died after not getting treatment on time.
However, a member of the RDA refrained from commenting on whether there was any connection between the deaths and the strike.
"The deaths are unfortunate. Senior doctors are attending the patients at the emergency ward. The incidents of doctors being assaulted at work have become quite frequent and there is a need to beef up security and also deploy marshals at the hospital premises for their safety," the association's Safdarjung hospital president Dr Prakash Thakur said.
On Sunday, around 1,600 doctors went on strike over the alleged manhandling of their colleague. Police had said Head Constable Virender's son Akshay Kumar (24) went to the Safdarjung hospital with his friend Rajesh on Sunday morning. Akshay had complained of abdominal pain, they said.
Virendra is posted as a head constable at the Safdarjung Enclave police station, police said According to a senior police officer, an argument broke out between Akshay and the doctor on-duty after the head constable's son alleged that he was not being given priority and there was a subsequent delay in treatment Enraged, Akshay punched the doctor, who suffered injuries to his nose.
The accused fled from the hospital after the incident, he said. Apparently, Akshay's father had also called up the duty constable at the hospital, Vinod, informing him that his son would be coming there for treatment.
A member of the RDA had claimed that the doctor on emergency duty had tried to relieve the patient of his pain, but the pain did not subside.
"While the resident doctor on duty was filling up a form so that the patient could undergo an ultrasound, the latter started hurling abuses," a senior doctor said. The doctor on duty fell unconscious after he was attacked and suffered a broken nose, he said.
An FIR was lodged in the matter and the role of duty constable Vinod in instigating the Akshay) is also being probed. The head constable and the constable on duty were sent to District Lines on Sunday by the police department.