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Nationwide strike of doctors

Thousands of patients in Jharkhand languished outside government and private hospitals throughout the day on Monday as almost 8,000 doctors belonging to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) abstained from work, supporting the nationwide strike called by the organization.

Patients outside the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), where 350 doctors abstained from work, had tough time convincing the doctors that they were "extremely sick" and needed immediate medical treatment. Patients were also not treated at any private hospital in the city.

At a private infertility hospital, a newborn baby allegedly died because of carelessness and lack of doctors. The test-tube baby suffered acute respiratory problems. However this could not be confirmed by the authorities. Prakash Kumar, the father of the baby, alleged that doctors' carelessness and strike had claimed the life of the baby.

According to official figures, 35 patients were admitted to RIMS's emergency unit till 2pm. No additional arrangement of doctors was, however, made in the wake of the strike. Four PG doctors, one assistant doctor and one chief medical officer were available as usual in the emergency.

Umesh, who broke his right leg at a field in Ormanjhi, did not qualify for treatment. "The doctor asked me to bring him tomorrow. My brother is in severe pain," said Brishan Horo, Umesh's younger brother. The two brothers are planning to spend the night outside the OPD.

Nasreen of Bariyatu also met a similar fate. "The doctors are saying that my son is not that much critical," said Nasreen. The five-year-old boy had both his eyes badly swollen and he was not able to see properly.

In medicine, orthopaedics, paediatrics and other wards of the RIMS patients, waited for the doctors but only the nurses treated them. No surgery was conducted in the hospital. Nitai Kumar Singh, a resident of Jamui district, had to undergo knee and ankle surgery on Monday. "The surgery has already been delayed. I am languishing here for the last eight days," said Singh. In medicine ward the patients who suffered from as critical diseases as stone in gall bladder were also left uncared.

RIMS director Tulsi Mahto said no untoward case was reported throughout the day. "Doctors in the emergency ward have been instructed to remain alert. All the patients who have come in critical condition have been treated," said Mahto.

At Sadar Hospital, too, doctors were not available. Generally, eight doctors sit in the OPD at the hospital. "The total number of patients is very few on Monday. We have treated all the patients who were critical in emergency," said Dr Anil Kumar. However Dr Kumar was the only doctor available at Sadar Hospital's emergency ward. Over 40 patients were seen here on Monday.

Over 100 patients returned without treatment from the city's posh Apollo Hospital. "We did not carry out any planned surgery. Only accidental surgeries were conducted," said director of the hospital Shahid Ansari. City's Curie Abdur Razzaque Ansari Cancer Institute also deferred all planned cancer operations.

Almost similar scene was prevailing at private nursing homes across the state. At Guru Nanak Hospital, Raj Hospital, K C Rai Memorial Hospital, and Hill View Nursing Home among others patients were not seen. IMA's Ranchi chapter president Dr R S Das, who works as a consultant for various private hospitals in the city, said, "The private hospitals were as affected as the government hospitals." source-articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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