Hospital authorities are trying to rope in doctors from districts as junior doctors intensify stir

Medical services at Gandhi Hospital will take a hit on Monday with no truce in sight between striking junior doctors and health authorities. The impact of lack of medical services in the outpatient wings in the hospital were not seen on Sunday, but, the boycott will cripple medical services on Monday, a day exclusively for outpatients.

While hospital authorities maintain that they are trying to rope in doctors from districts, the fact however remains that the five-day strike has started to take its toll. Close to 250 elective surgeries, to be taken up by various medical departments, have been postponed because of the strike.

The junior doctors, meanwhile, have vowed to continue the protest till the demands are met by the government. The condition of two medicos, who were admitted to the ICU of Gandhi Hospital on Saturday, continues to remain critical, hospital authorities said.

Authorities say that medical services will be crippled if the junior doctors choose to boycott emergency services. “We hope that the issue is resolved on Monday so that normalcy is restored. As a stop-gap arrangement we are trying to call back in-service doctors who are not part of the strike to attend duties,” they say. Medical services at Osmania General Hospital and Niloufer Hospital could also be hit in case the strike continues. “Our demands are not new. We have been protesting for the implementation of the same demands for the past seven years.” junior doctors say.

During the course of the earlier strikes taken up by junior doctors, health authorities had given assurance to fulfil several of their demands. Health officials had given assurances regarding deployment of Special Protection Force (SPF) at all teaching hospitals, hike in stipends and transparency in PG entrance examination.

“Authorities promised to provide a better stipend, upgrade hospital infrastructure, provide SPF cover, and make the PG entrance more transparent. ” junior doctors say. At present, the junior doctors receive a monthly stipend between Rs.18,000 to Rs.21,000. The junior doctors are demanding a hike to Rs.30,000.