Bangalore: More than 250 junior doctors across government hospitals attached to the Bangalore Medical College and Reseach Insititute are on an indefinite strike. They are demanding new laws to be drafted to enhance security of medical and paramedical staff.
The strike was sparked off by the death of a pregnant woman in the hospital last week. Angry relatives assaulted medical staff blaming them for negligence. Doctors say this is the fifth such assault in six months.
Despite verbal assurances from the governor, doctors are pressing for a written assurance and immediate enactment of laws for their protection from physical or verbal assaults.
"He (the governor) has asked for three months. We are not sure of security, we want immediate protection so we can safeguard ourselves," said the Junior Doctors Association’s president, Dr Chandrakanth Kesri.
Another doctor with Bowring Hospital, Dr Ahmed, added, "The public has to understand that we cannot work in such an environment where there are continuous threats, verbal assaults and there is no peace of mind for medical and paramedical staff working here."
While emergency services are working, the strike is taking a toll on poor patients.
“Whatever incident happened, has happened. These doctors should relax and resume work,” said a patient, Farzana. “So many patients are being affected by this. We are not getting treatment and medicines."
“We come here for treatment. If there is no doctor to treat us, who will we go to?" demanded another patient, Afsar Khan.
With the strike intensifying, junior doctors are showing no signs of relenting.
Till their demands are met, it’s the poor patients who continue to bear the brunt.