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OPDs shut at PGIMER, patients suffer

August 04, 2019 05:12 AM


Amanjeet Singh
OPDs shut at PGIMER, patients suffer
DAY ONE OF INDEFINITE STIR Resident doctors on strike against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill passed by the Rajya Sabha
RESIDENT DOCTORS’ BODY SAYS THE STRIKE WILL CONTINUE TILL THEIR CONCERNS ARE NOT ADDRESSED We will not hesitate to escalate our protest by shutting down even the emergency and intensive care services if heed is not paid to our demands. DR UTTAM THAKUR, President, PGI Association of Resident Doctors Faculty members are doing exemplary work and they will continue to do so. If critical services are withdrawn, we are prepared to deal with the situation. DR JAGAT RAM, PGIMER director

CHANDIGARH: Hundreds of harried patients resorted to protest after they found OPDs locked at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, on Saturday — the first day of indefinite strike by 1,200 odd resident doctors.

■ Patients arguing with the security staff outside the New OPD building at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh on Saturday.
The institute had to cancel nearly 80 surgeries scheduled for the day owing to the strike against the passing of National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill by the Rajya Sabha, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI). Doctors say the provisions in the Bill were “draconian” and may promote quackery.

Out of the total 110 scheduled surgeries only 30 were performed, according to the doctors. The 600-odd senior doctors though have not suspended work, they, along with resident doctors, attend more than 2,000 registered indoor patients.

The patients who reached on Saturday morning held a demonstration on the hospital premises, demanding restoration of the service.

“Most patients come here from nearby states for better treatment. It is the poor who has to suffer. There are other ways to protest too. Why they are delaying our treatment. If junior doctors are protesting at least senior doctors should sit and examine patients,” said Tejpaul Singh, a heart patient from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab.

Another patient from Yamuna Nagar, Kuldeep Dhar, who visited for consultation at the institute’s Advanced Eyecare Centre, said the government should also bring in a strict law which stops them from going on strike.

The protesting patients and attendants said the administration should take necessary steps in advance so that patients do not suffer.

The association of resident doctors in a statement said the strike will continue till the concerns regarding the Bill are not appropriately addressed. “We will not hesitate to escalate our protest by shutting down even the emergency and ICU services if measures are not taken,” the association said.

“The ambiguity of the term ‘Person connected with modern medical profession’ needs to be clarified and what are the checkpoints to ensure that the community health providers (CHPs) will restrict to limited practice and what will be the consequences if they exceed their prerogative?” Dr Uttam Thakur, PGI Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) president said.

He said till the time concerns are not addressed to their satisfaction, the strike will continue.


The hospital administration has said that they are ready to deal with any kind of emergency situation. “Without resident doctors, we cannot run the OPDs and conduct the scheduled surgeries but in case the residents withdraw from other services, the faculty will look after the patients,” PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram said.

“The faculty members are doing exemplary work and they will continue to do so, if services are withdrawn from critical areas. We are ready to deal with any kind of situation,” he added.

He added that nurses and technologists are rendering patient care in all the emergency areas and wards. The hospital had earlier appealed to the faculty members to remain present on duty as nearly 1,200 resident doctors would be observing strike.

The faculty association of the institute has also supported the protests against the NMC Bill. “In the general body meeting to be held on Monday, we will discuss the Bill and our course of action. Senior doctors are with the cause of the protest, but we will continue providing services at this stage,” Prof J S Thakur, president, PGI Faculty Association said.

He said that certain provisions of the Bill are unjust and the government should reconsider the Bill.

PGIMER caters to patients from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.

On an average 10,000 patients visit the hospital for consultation daily

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