Six Dead due to Junior Doctors' Strike at the PMCH

Patna Medical College and Hospital remain barren on Tuesday due to junior doctors' strike.

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Patna: With Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) junior doctors' strike entering into its third day, at least six persons have been reported dead so far in the lack of medical care as negotiation to end the strike once again proved futile with junior doctors refusing to go back to work until their demands were met without any precondition.

The patient exodus to private care continued on Tuesday with only those who could not afford private nursing homes remaining at the hospital.

Junior doctors protesting at PMCH on Tuesday.Sticking to their demand for the resignation of PMCH Principal Dr. S. N. Sinha and round-the-clock security of the doctors and nurses at the hospital, the talk between the protestors and Bihar Health Secretary Jitendra Srivastava failed despite the latter's repeated assurance to look into their demands.

"When police were swinging their batons at the junior doctors and nurses on Sunday night, the Principal just stood there and did nothing to stop the police from assaulting us. We have decided the strike will not be withdrawn until the Principal is removed," said the protesting doctors.

Urging the junior doctors to end their strike, Srivastava said that undoubtedly mistakes were made on the part of the hospital management but that did not give the junior doctors right to take out their anger on innocent patients.

"Patients are the biggest losers in this fight between the students and the administration. Also, we cannot turn the entire hospital into an army camp overnight to provide security to the hospital staff. We sympathize with their demands but they also have to be reasonable and show some empathy for the patients and their family members," Srivastava said.

Meanwhile, besides all the major government hospitals in Bihar including the one in Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, Gaya, and Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) in Patna, junior doctors of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) also joined the strike further degrading the medical care in Bihar for the third straight day.

Till the time of reporting, neither Chief Minister Nitish Kumar nor Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav paid a visit to the PMCH further raising the student's ire.

"Besides sending the health secretary to negotiate with the striking doctors, the government has not made any attempt to bring the strike to an end," said a senior doctor on the condition of anonymity.


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