The emergency ward at Gandhi Hospital wore a deserted look on Monday afternoon as the striking junior doctors boycotted emergency services.
Many patients at the emergency ward, including an expectant mother suffering from high fever, were sent to other government hospitals.
Helpless family members of a patient, Radhabai, looked on as she was wheeled from an ambulance into the emergency ward and back in less than five minutes.
The week-long protests by junior doctors demanding clearer guidelines for rural service and ensuring a transparent posting were intensified on Monday and likely to continue for some more time as the junior doctors said they were determined to get their problems resolved this time.
They have been demanding clarification on the status of students given rural postings and whether they will be given their original certificates.
Their status is important as there is a big difference in the pay and other facilities given to doctors and students.
“The doctors in rural areas get `35,000 as well as accommodation.
For post graduate students, stipend has been fixed at `20,000.
There are also no clear directions regarding the basis of selection for rural postings.
We have not received any official response,” president of Junior Doctors Association (JUDA) Dr I Abhilash said.
The doctors blocked the entrance to the administrative block and raised slogans for ‘justice’.
They staged skits to highlight the inadequate supply of medicines and infrastructure in rural areas and the mismatch in posting post-graduate candidates with specializations to a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) where the services of a general practitioner are required.
In Osmania General Hospital as well the students boycotted emergency ward duties, barring the transfer interns who are likely to join the strike from Tuesday.
“Some arrangements have been made.
One senior doctor has been asked to be present at the emergency ward at all times during the strike.
On an average we receive around 200 to 300 emergency cases a day and we have to make-do with the limited resources,” superintendent at Gandhi Hospital Dr S Mahaboob said.
Though the students were not happy boycotting the services, they demanded a resolution to the ongoing crisis.
“We like to serve people and that is what we are here for.
Jr doctors play an important role in running the emergency ward.
The strike will hopefully help resolve the issue,” an MBBS student said.