Patient care at the Safdarjung Hospital was hit for the second day on Wednesday with nearly 1200 resident doctors deciding to continue their indefinite strike demanding adequate security inside the hospital premises.

The doctors had called for a strike at the hospital yesterday after one of their colleagues was allegedly beaten up by relatives of a patient.

Though the striking doctors have opened a parallel Out Patient Department(OPD) near the emergency wing of the hospital to cater to patients, many people from several states like Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring areas, who required emergency services were left to fend for themselves.

“The main OPD in front of the college is being run by consultants. We have not withdrawn our strike and will continue till this issue of security of the doctors is resolved. We have opened up a parallel OPD so that patient care suffers the least,” Dr Chandrabhan Jatav, RDA president, Safdarjung Hospital said.

Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi had tried to intervene yesterday but talks remained inconclusive.

“We want the paramilitary forces to man the hospital. There is no count as to how many times doctors have been manhandled and beaten up by patient’s relatives. We want to finally put an end to all this,” Dr Jatav said.

Another round of talks between the Medical Superintendent and the striking doctors was on at hospital.

“I came with my ailing mother from Hazaribagh with the hope of getting immediate medical attention but it took me more then four hours to get the attention of a doctor. We arrived here last night and till this morning at 11 am nobody has heard me well. Why should my mother suffer because of this strike,” questioned 58-year-old Shambhu who is here for the treatment of his mother suffering gastrointestinal problem.

More than 7000 patients seek treatment at the hospital’s OPD everyday.

“Since this morning the consultant has not yet come over to see my father who is admitted here. Before the strike happened the resident doctors used to come over to see. I do not know if the surgery date given to us by the doctor will be kept or not. I was told by the nurse that if the doctor’s demands are not met then the surgery might be postponed for a future date,” said another patient’s relative who is admitted with the cardiology department.

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