Ara: A clash between government doctors and District Magistrate (DM) of Bhojpur over an alleged assault of colleagues by his security has now led to an indefinite strike of doctors in the area.
The functionaries of Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) and Indian Medical Association (IMA), Bihar state branch went on strike to protest against the alleged mishandling of their peers.
The whole controversy emerged after a video conferencing session was started between the DM and the doctors of Ara’s Sadar hospital to mark the presence of the doctors on duty. All doctors in the hospital were present at the conference except one Dr T Ansari. Dr Ansari was later mistreated by the security guard of the DM of Bhojpur.
Dr Ajay Kumar, IMA State Branch’s vice-president informed Medical Dialogues that “Bhojpur is the only district in Bihar where attendance is taken in three steps. First on register followed by biometric and then on video conference. Moreover, the DM calls up on video any time in the name of attendance.”
Dr Kumar detailed about the alleged incident, stating that, ” Dr Ansari was 500m away from the place where video conference was taking place. The DM called him up to marked his presence on video call. The Doctor could not come as he was the single person managing the emergency ward. On not following the order, the DM sent four guards who forcibly took Dr Ansari to his residence. Few more doctors accompanied him to DM’s residence where the bodyguard mistreated with the doctors.”
Agitated with the whole incident government doctors further decided to shut down the OPD services at all government hospitals until their demands are met. Emergency services are still on the doctors demanded strict action against the DM in this regard. The government assured the doctors that strict action will be taken against the DM. The inquiry will be held in this regard, he further informed.
The Telegraph added that the DM has also sent a show-cause notice to two of the three doctors asking in which capacity they had reached his residence and made much hue and cry after he summoned another doctor and not the duo. Also, an FIR has been lodged against the doctors under Section 107 the IPC (abetment)
They demanded the transfer of the DM, institution of criminal case against him, constitution of a medical board to assess his mental health, and replacing DMs with civil surgeons as chairpersons of district health societies.
Further doctors pointed out that they were OK with the Biometric System of attendance but the DM was acting “in an arbitrary manner by introducing attendance through video conferencing”
Dr Ajay Kumar, IMA’s senior state vice-president informed TOI that “We will have a meeting again after 10 days to review what action the government takes against the Bhojpur DM.”
“We will go on strike again if the government doesn’t take action against the DM,” Dr Kumar further added.
Reacting to the allegations, Bhojpur DM told Indian Express, “Whatever I have done is to ensure overall health reforms to deal with absenteeism after I received complaints from patients. Some doctors have made it a prestige issue”.