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RIMS, Ranchi strike leaves patients waiting

Ranchi, April 16: Services at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) were severely affected after junior doctors went on an indefinite strike.

The doctors have gone on strike to support the 2007 batch MBBS students, who are agitating against Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision to cancel their admissions.

The impact of the strike can be felt as one steps into the deserted outdoor ward of the hospital, where the daily average of patients was 3,000.

The emergency wing continues to function, said president of Junior Doctors’ Association Jitendra Singh Munda. But a junior doctor on duty at the emergency ward of RIMS said 25 patients were attended to between a seven-hour period.

“Twenty-six patients were brought in to the RIMS emergency from 7am to 2pm,” the doctor said around 2.30pm

The worried faces of those accompanying the patients narrated the problems they were facing due to the absence of junior doctors at the super-speciality centre of the state.

“I have come from Hazaribagh to treat my 75-year-old father, who is suffering from a kidney infection and has water in his lungs,” Abhay Jha said between his mad dash in search for a junior doctor. “But there is no one here.”

Tupudana resident Sushil Champi had no other option but to sit under a tree on the RIMS campus and wait for doctors after her mother-in-law was refused admission. The older woman suffered from a paralytic attack.

“I don’t know what to do after doctors at the emergency ward of RIMS refused to admit her,” he said.

Vinod Kumar, a resident of Gomia, had a similar problem. “I am left with no option other than taking my driver to a private hospital for treatment of his broken bone,” he said.

Spokesperson of the RIMS students Alok Kumar admitted that several patients were suffering because of their agitation. “But we are struggling for our survival after the medical council order,” he said.

RIMS superintendent I.B. Prasad claimed that all senior doctors took care of patients. He did not have any information of the patients suffering due to the strike of junior doctors.

“We worked and attended to patients in outdoor and indoor wards,” he said.

The council, the highest regulatory body of medical institutions, took the harsh decision as the RIMS administration and the state government had not arranged for adequate teaching staff despite orders to that effect.

Though several efforts were taken for withdrawal of the order calling for cancellation of the admissions, sources said, they were in vain due to an “ego problem”.

“Health minister Bhanu Pratap Sahi’s statements hurt MCI officials. A letter of the health secretary threatening to challenge the MCI order in court has made the situation worse,” an undergraduate student said.

A postgraduate student said that the problem would have been sorted out had the government approached the MCI instead of talking to the Union health minister.

RIMS director N.N. Agarwal trashed the charges against the government.

“It is not good for junior doctors to go on a strike when the government and RIMS has taken up the case of MBBS students. A doctor should perform his duty,” he said

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