Doctors end strike at GTB hospital


Doctor’s strike at the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital here came to an end on Friday evening almost two days after it began. The services at the hospital resumed from 5 pm with all the resident doctors and interns joining duties.

The resident doctors and interns of the Delhi government run hospital decided to go on strike after the hospital authorities refused to pay any heed to their demand of extra security, especially at the emergency ward, and basic amenities like drinking water and clean toilets. They also want the hospital to hire more ward boys and sanitation workers who can assist them.

On January 31, early morning a 45-year-old patient died of a heart attack and his relatives beat up the doctors on duty. The doctors asked the medical superintendent (MS), Dr Rajpal, to make it a rule that only one attendant is allowed with one patient inside the emergency ward. The matter was under the notice of the MS when on Thursday night a nurse in the medical emergency was slapped by a patient’s attendant.

“On January 31, the patient was brought to the hospital in a critical condition and had a history of heart problems. The doctors attending to the patient told the relatives that his chances of survival are bleak. After the patient’s death, his relatives called some 20-25 people from their village and started beating up the doctors. They even entered the college building and reached the principal’s office. Six students had to guard the principal from the mob’s attack,” said a final year MBBS student at the hospital.

He added that the security guards outside the ward ran away instead of protecting the doctors. The hospital filed an FIR with the police but no commitments were made from the MS.

“We gave our complaints in writing to the MS but because nothing improved even after a week, we decided to go on strike,” said Dr Kundan, president, resident doctors’ association, GTB hospital.

On Friday, the RDA had a meeting with the MS where he assured that within six months all their demands will be met. For improving infrastructure, the hospital will have to follow the set procedure of floating tenders which may take up to six months. Installation of alarm bells and CCTV cameras inside the emergency wards is also proposed by the RDA.

During the strike, the emergency ward of the hospital was functional but was handled by the consultant doctors and the nurses and not by the junior and senior resident doctors. The out patient department of the hospital, however, was closed which added to the patients’ problems.


Sonal Matharu | February 4, 2011