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Doctors strike in Jamshedpur leaves patients in the lurch

Jamshedpur, Nov. 7: As many as 70 government doctors observed one-day token strike on Saturday, 7 November against the decision to designate mukhiyas and zilla parishad chairpersons as their leave granting authority.

The state government issued an order last month to empower mukhiyas and zilla parishad chairpersons with the right to sanction leaves for medicos, including civil surgeons. The largest state run hospital in Jamshedpur, MGM who’s OPD attends more than 500 patients daily wore a deserted look on Saturday.

The usually overcrowded wards at the Sadar hospital in Khasmahal wore an uncanny deserted look after hundreds of doctors, the lifeline of the medical services at the hospital, went on strike. OPD at Sadar Hospital caters to around 300 patients daily.

IMA secretary Mrityunjay Singh said, “Such decision by the state government is unwanted and insulting for the medical fraternity.  He said if the state government does not revoke the decision then all the doctors posted in government hospitals and primary health centers across the state will resign en masse. The state Cabinet should have taken the doctors’ fraternity into confidence while passing the decision, he added.

Rahul Nayak, who rushed his friend to MGM on Saturday morning after he suffered injuries in road accident, was made to run from pillar to post to get medical care. “Neither a wardboy, a stretcher nor a wheelchair were available at the casualty ward. When I asked for stretcher, the MGM staff asked me to fend it myself.

After all struggle, we could finally get our patient admitted to the hospital ward. But again we had to plead to the hospital staff to attend to my grandmother as no doctor was available in the ward,” he said.  The patients already undergoing treatment at the hospital were not in any better condition.

Protesting junior doctors said the government’s decision is unjust and it will become a tool for panchayats and zila parishads to exploit doctors and health workers. “Doctors, auxiliary nurses, midwives and other health workers will be subjected to exploitation by village and district-level politics.

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