Family members of patients ran from one government hospital to another as the junior doctors’ strike entered the sixth day in West Bengal on Sunday. Several deaths were reported and are being blamed on the junior doctors’ strike.
Children with thalassemia were turned away without blood transfusion and so were those suffering from cancer and had come for chemotherapy to Kolkata’s hospitals from the districts. Relatives of several patients admitted to state-run hospitals complained of negligence in treatment.
Services in emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many hospitals have been hit. The doctor’s strike began after two of their colleagues were assaulted at the NRS Medical College and Hospital by family members of a patient, who died on June 10. They demand adequate security.
Around 520 senior doctors resigned en masse in past 48 hours extending their support to the striking junior doctors. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged the junior doctors to return to work and said her government had accepted their demands.
Samuel Haque was admitted to SSKM Hospital with cardiac problems on June 9. His brother said everything was normal when he was bought to the outdoor department and doctors admitted him. “The doctors told us they would conduct some tests on Tuesday before fixing the date for surgery. But the trouble started on Tuesday morning and now no one is attending him,’’ said Haque’s brother.
Haque’s relatives wanted to shift him as his condition is deteriorating. “But taking him to another place without medical support is impossible,’’ he said.
Some of the senior doctors, who are working at the hospitals, said without the support of junior doctors, providing healthcare services to all patients is not possible.
A newborn died at Sagar Dutta Medical College and Hospital, on the outskirts of Kolkata, two days ago and his parents alleged they ran from one hospital to another to admit the baby to an Intensive Care Unit but their efforts drew a blank.
Joydeb Roy from Basirhat in Kolkata’s adjoining North 24-Parganas district met an accident. He was admitted to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital a week ago and the doctors told his relatives that he needed surgery to place a metallic plate in his leg. He is still waiting for the surgery. “The senior doctors are saying they need the help of junior doctors to conduct the surgery,’’ said Roy’s wife.
Junior doctors are the mainstay of state-run medical colleges and hospitals as they man the emergency wing and assist senior doctors.