With the junior doctors strike in Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) entering its fourth day, the state government asked the medicos to resume duty or face action if they tried to create impediment in medical services at the premier hospital.
The state government was ready to hear the legitimate demand for their security at the PMCH, but can’t accept the demand for removal of Principal Prof S N Sinha … They should resume duty at the earliest or face action if they failed to do so, Principal Secretary (Health) R K Mahajan told reporters.
Rejecting the agitating junior doctors’ demand out rightly for removal of the PMCH Principal, he said in that case such a demand should have been made by the junior doctors before launching the strike, Mahajan said.
Making a fervent appeal to the junior doctors to resume duty in the larger interest of the patients, Mahajan said the state government was ready to sort out their outstanding grievances, but if they refused to heed, strict action would be taken as per rules.
It may be mentioned that junior doctors of the PMCH have been striking work for the past four days following clashes between the medicos and kins of some patients.
Their colleagues in six out of eight government medical colleges in Bihar, barring Bettiah and Pawapuri, have also joined the stir pressing for security for the medicos.
As many as nine patients have died at the PMCH since the junior doctors went on strike paralysing medical services in the premier hospital, officials said.
Seeking to soothe the ruffled feathers of agitating doctors, Mahajan said both the doctors and kins of some patients have lodged FIR against each other and seven persons have been arrested in this connection.
The Principal Secretary (Health) said those involved in assaulting some junior doctors would be acted upon the Professional Protection Act, while the number of security guards deployed at the PMCH was being doubled from 75 to 150.
He said he was aware of the PMCH Principal’s order to shut down the Patna Medical College for the time being in view of the junior doctors’ strike and asking them to vacate hostels.
Mahajan said emergency medical services at the PMCH has been restored since yesterday and an additional 52 doctors deployed to improve medical services there.
Meanwhile, Bihar deputy chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav urged the agitating junior doctors to withdraw stir in the larger public interest and said their outstanding demands would be redressed by the state government.
In a related development, the Bihar State Human Rights Commission (BHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about continued strike by the junior doctors at PMCH, NMCH, SKMCH (Muzaffarpur), JLNMCH (Bhagalpur) and DMCH (Darbhanga).
BHRC was also aware of the fact that the genesis of this issue was the “unfortunate incident of assault” on junior doctors by the relatives of some patient and subsequent events at PMCH, its member Neelmani said.
The society at large and the innocent and helpless patients, in particular, cannot be made to suffer the resultant miseries and the human rights violations such strikes cause… Nobility of the medical profession and its ethical constraints do not permit such expressions (in the form of strike) beyond an intolerable or reasonable limit, he observed.
Neelmani added that the government has also responded with all sensitivity on the issue and the striking doctors too should have faith in the government response.
He issued notices to the Principal Secretary, Health Department, and the Inspector General of Police (IG), Patna Zone to present status reports on actions taken on administrative and legal side to the Commission by May 31 when the matter is listed next.