‘No Out-Patient Departments (OPD) today’ posters pasted across Central and Delhi Government Hospitals announced the beginning of an indefinite strike by 2,000 resident doctors in the Capital on Monday morning.
Though Hospitals across the city are functioning with senior doctors running OPD and emergency services, work has been adversely affected.
“We have asked hospitals to cancel the leave of senior doctors who have been called in to ensure that patients are not harassed. We can’t stop work because a section of our doctors are on strike,’’ said a senior Delhi Government health official.
The doctors are demanding better security at workplace, adequate life-saving and generic drugs, drinking water, time-bound duty hours and salary on time. The doctors’ association had given June 21 as the deadline to the Ministry to respond to their demands.
“We haven’t heard from anyone till late last night and are forced to proceed on strike,’’ said a resident doctor at Safdarjung Hospital.
Doctors from the Central, State and Municipal Corporation Delhi (MCD) hospitals are participating in the strike. Hospitals that are affected include Safdarjung, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College, GTB, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, ESI, Hindu Rao and Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) besides the MCD-run hospitals.
The doctors, under the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) umbrella, had previously written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Praksah Nadda, requesting them to urgently look into the matter and take remedial measures
Doctors noted that they have been forced to take this “drastic step due to the government’s failure to fulfill their demands.”
“Almost every month there are reports of assault and abuse of medical personnel at workplace. Hospitals in the Capital are facing acute shortage of basic facilities for doctors including residential quarters and drinking water. Medical establishments are plagued by shortage of life-saving and generic drugs, which further worsens the situation and puts undue pressure on medical workers,” noted a resident doctor at RML.
Previously, on February 27, resident doctors had gone on a day-long strike, protesting against the Central and State governments’ alleged ‘step-motherly treatment’. The Ministers at both the Centre and State had then promptly called the doctors for a meeting following which the strike was called off.