Claiming that they were forced to work long hours and do the work of staff nurses and lab technicians, approximately 70 house surgeons in Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital began an indefinite symbolic protest when they reported to duty on Tuesday by wearing black badges.
The protesters claimed that apart from 140 of them, who were studying at Madras Medical College and were presently doing their internship in about 10 hospitals in the city, others students of government medical colleges, who were doing their internship across the State have also joined the protest.
The internees claimed they were forced to work for over 36 hours at a stretch during admission days every week. “In some departments like ortho and surgery, we have to do three such 36-hour ‘shifts’ weekly. We don’t get weekly offs. We are allowed to take only one day leave in a month and not before finding a replacement,” said Praveen, a house surgeon.
They further claimed that they were made to do all paramedical and clerical work in the hospital and were not trained properly. “We are not allowed to go through case sheets of patients nor do we have time to go for rounds. We give drugs and injections without even knowing the diagnosis of a patient,” lamented Surya another house surgeon.
The protesting internees also alleged that there were instances when patients suffered after they ended up administering wrong drugs. “There are 10 to 15 people, including nurses and paramedics, but we do everything right from administering drugs to taking blood samples to labs,” said Srinath.
They claimed they had earlier approached the dean but were yet to find a solution to their problems.