HYDERABAD: With an escalation of the standoff between striking junior doctors and government, the junior doctors' association on Friday evening decided to boycott emergency services in all government teaching hospitals. Though their decision has thrown life in hospitals like the Gandhi hospital out of gear, the government stuck to its stand and said they would not fall to the doctors' blackmail.
With the two sides adamant in their stands, it is the common man that is caught in the crossfire. Unable to keep with the inflow of patients, doctors are showing many patients the door, asking them to try their luck at private hospitals. But people like 25yearold Rajesh, a tribal from Narayankhed in Medak district who is battling a kidney ailment, have nowhere to go.
Speaking to Express, Karra Santhibai, Rajesh's mother said they had come to Gandhi hospital some time ago but the doctors threw up their arms and asked her to take Rajesh to a private hospital. The doctors said that there was nobody to attend to them due to the junior doctors' strike.
Santhibai then got her son admitted at a corporate hospital in the city but soon ran out of money for the treatment and was forced to take him home. When Rajesh's condition became worse a few days ago, she was forced to visit Gandhi hospital again on Friday only to be greeted by the boycotting junior doctors.
Doctors at the hospital have asked her to come next week. "I will wait in front of the hospital until they perform a dialysis on my son," a frustrated Santhibai said. She pleaded that her son would die if he did not get treatment soon.
When asked about the situation, Gandhi Hospital RMO Ranga Rao told Express that they have made alternative arrangements to attend to emergency cases. But the situation on the ground level is far from bright as family members struggle to help their loves ones at the casualty and ward boys stand in as attendants.
Meanwhile, the newly sworn in medical education minister Kondru Murali Mohan laid out a tough stand on the issue saying that the government does not fear any blackmail. He also said that alternative arrangements have been made.
But junior doctors association joint action committee convener M I Abilash told Express that boycotting of emergency services was the only option left before them to protest the government's attitude to their demands.
The junior doctors launched their protest on January 14 demanding a hike in stipend, regularisation of stipend, exception from rural services and others.