Healthcare services affected as AIIMS resident doctors go on strike

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New Delhi: The strike called by the resident doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), after one of their colleagues was assaulted by a senior doctor partially affected healthcare services at the premier institute Friday.

In a statement late Thursday night, the AIIMS said the incident in question took place on Wednesday, following which the senior doctor apologised to his junior.

The doctors have demanded immediate suspension of the senior doctor, who also heads a department at the premier institute. The Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) has also urged that the doctor in question should not be allowed to take in thesis candidates and conduct any kind of verbal or written examination.

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As a mark of protest, the doctors Thursday worked wearing helmets. They also sought a written apology from the senior doctor concerned.

In the wake of the strike, the hospital has instituted contingency measures to take care of the admitted patients, including those in the ICUs and wards.

Emergency and ICU services remained operational, but all routine surgeries have been cancelled, out-patient clinics being run in a restricted manner and all academic activity and exams postponed indefinitely, a senior officer of the administration said.

The hospital administration has put in place a contingency plan for patient care services, as a part of which faculty-on-call in all clinical departments will physically man the in-patient wards.

“OPD services will function on restricted basis till such a time that normalcy is restored. Only follow-up patients with the prior appointment will be registered in OPD. New Patients OPD registration will be done as per availability of faculty in respective OPD as decided by Head of Department/Unit concerned. No walk-in registration (new and old) will be done,” the order by the administration said.

Routine surgeries will remain suspended and only emergency cases will be taken up for surgery. Diagnostic services will function on a restricted basis as maximum possible for the faculty, it stated.

“Head(s) of all clinical departments will make arrangements for the round-the-clock availability of doctors of speciality concerned either from research staff or by the faculty members. Under no circumstances any inpatient ward will function without the physical availability of doctors of speciality concerned,” the order read.

In a statement late last night, the AIIMS said the incident in question took place on Wednesday, following which the senior doctor apologised to his junior.

In a letter to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, the RDA alleged that the senior doctor slapped a senior resident in front of attendees, nursing staff and colleagues and that the resident doctor was under depression and had gone home.

The resident doctors also raised the reported misbehaviour of the senior doctor towards the female residents.

“Dear Director sir, we talk about violence against doctors by relatives of patients, but this act has caused great anguish among residents and shattered the sacred student-teacher relationship,” read the letter. “We expect an immediate and strong action from your side so that a message goes out that doctors are not here to be beaten,” it said.

The AIIMS director had also instituted a five-member committee to be chaired by the Dean-Research to enquire into the incident.

The director has appealed the RDA to call off the strike in the interest of patient care.

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