NEW DELHI: Patients at the Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital faced hardship as doctors at the facility went on strike Monday over an alleged assault on a postgraduate medical student by a patient's attendant, demanding adequate security.
Resident doctors did not work in both regular and emergency wards, affecting patients at the biggest Delhi government-run hospital, Medical Superintendent Kishore Singh said.
The strike was called off in the evening as the government agreed to their demands.
"We have immediately agreed to their demand for deployment of marshalls in the hospital, including in the emergency ward. Other demands like installation of CCTV cameras at other places, we are looking into those aspects, and areas are being identified," Delhi Health Secretary Sanjeev Khirwar said.
As many as 48 marshalls will be deployed eventually, 16 in each of the three shifts across the hospital campus, he said. CCTV cameras are already installed at some places in the hospital and 10 of the marshalls were deployed Monday.
Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) representatives and hospital authorities had met Delhi Health Secretary in the afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the RDA of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital claimed the stir was triggered by an alleged assault on a third-year postgraduate student of Maulana Azad Medical College, who was on duty last night in the emergency department, around 11 pm.
"A patient was brought to the ER department and later died of some complications. An attendant then assaulted a person on duty, who is a third-year student of MD at the college," RDA president Saiket Jena alleged.
"In the last few days, several such incidents of attack on doctors have taken place in the hospital premises. So, we have gone on a strike," he said in the morning.
A senior police official said the hospital authorities have given a statement to them that they do not want to file a police complaint.
Jena claimed the accused person has "tendered an apology" so they have decided not to pursue the case.
The protesting doctors were demanding adequate security deployment, including marshalls in the emergency department, the medical superintendent said.
Patients, many of whom had come from Agra, Bareilly had to sit for long hours here as doctors were not present in the emergency ward.
"I came from Moradabad and I have acute pain in the ribs. My treatment has been going on for nearly two months at LNJP Hospital. I have been sitting outside the emergency ward. It has been more than six hours, but there has been no response due to the doctors' strike," said 53-year-old Razia said in the afternoon.
Shakuntala from Panipat said, "We aren't allowed to enter the emergency ward by security guards. We've been sitting here since 9.00 am in the morning, hoping doctors will start attending by 12 noon, but it is already 4.00 pm and all we see is police and security. So, we are leaving the hospital."
Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain Monday said an act of violence against doctors is condemnable.
"I have directed the health secretary to consider the demands of doctors, whether it is the deployment of marshalls or installation of CCTV in regular wards. Both demands will be soon taken care of," he said.
Resident doctors of the AIIMS and the Safdarjung Hospital had also expressed solidarity with their colleagues at the LNJP Hospital. The AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) had urged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Health Minister to intervene in the matter and address the security concerns of the doctors.
Last month, two junior doctors at the NRS Hospital in Kolkata were assaulted allegedly by the relatives of a patient who died at the hospital, following which junior doctors in West Bengal went on a strike over lack of security at the workplace.