Patients suffer as SMHS doctors’ strike continues

Doctors’ strike continued to cause distress to hundreds of patients who had to wait in long queues at SMHS hospital here.
Patients suffer as SMHS doctors’ strike continues
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Doctors' strike continued to cause distress to hundreds of patients who had to wait in long queues at SMHS hospital here. The doctors' strike entered fifth day on Tuesday.

Reports said no doctor 'resumed duty' while OPDs remained closed. "All routine surgeries were cancelled and patients, who had been waiting for their turn to be operated for many months, had to return to their homes disappointed," they said.

The only patients who remained admitted at the hospital were emergency cases in ICUs and Triage. 

The patients admitted last week before the strike started also left the hospital, reports said.

"We are not going to call off the strike on verbal assurances. Although some changes have taken place, a lot more needs to be put in place," President of Resident Doctors Association at SMHS, Dr Adil Ashraf, said.

On the other hand, GMC Principal Dr. Kaiser Ahmed said all the demands of doctors have been met. "We have registered an FIR against those who assaulted a doctor and transferred the CMO on duty," he said. 

He said a Grievance Redresses Team headed by Dr Parvaiz Shah, HoD Medicine, and comprising five other senior most faculty of GMC, has also been constituted.

Meanwhile, at SK Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura, many patients who waited for the entire day outside OPD had to return disappointed due to overload following strike by SMHS doctors. "We are pressed hard. Not just doctors, there was acute shortage of trolleys and stretchers and we had to resort to our stores to address the problem," Dr. Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent SKIMS said.

GMC administration is confident that the "stalemate would end on Wednesday."

Dr. Kaiser said all HoDs had been instructed to furnish names of doctors on duty and submit their attendance on Wednesday morning. 

The RDA however said they will evaluate the situation before joining back.

GMC has also written to Commissioner/Secretary Health to initiate the process of implementing 'Andhra Pradesh Ordinance Against the Violence on Doctors' applicable in the state. 

If the ordinance is passed in the Assembly, any assault on an on-duty doctor would be made a cognizable and non-bailable offence. 

The act reads, 'Any Offender who commits any act in contravention of Section 3 (violence on a medical professional, doctor, nurse etc.), penalty shall be with imprisonment for a period of Three years and with fine, which may extend to fifty thousand rupees'.

It also reads that the offender shall be liable to a penalty of twice the amount of purchase price of medical equipment damaged and loss caused to the property as determined by the Court trying the offender. 

"This ordinance seems to be necessary in state considering the increasing incidence of violence in hospitals," Dr. Kasier said.

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