Doctors’ strike claims boy’s life at Raipur hospital

June 24th, 2008 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, June 24 (IANS) An eight-year-old boy, admitted to the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Hospital here for acute stomach pain, died as there was no one to attend to him due to an ongoing indefinite strike by junior doctors. The child was brought to the hospital Monday from Nayapara village in Raipur district after he complained of severe stomach ache. His mother alleged that no doctor was available to attend to her son even though they waited for six hours. He died Monday night.

About 300 junior doctors have gone on an indefinite strike over monetary demands since Saturday, crippling the patient care services of the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Hospital, Chhattisgarh’s biggest public hospital.

Several senior doctors too have gone on leave to avoid patients’ rush due to the junior doctors’ strike. The 700-bed hospital treats on an average about 400 new patients a day.

Dozens of patients admitted to the emergency ward as well as the casualty ward needed urgent medical attention but no doctor was available for surgeries throughout Monday and ward nurses tried to provide temporary relief to them.

Hospital authorities, however, refused to comment on the eight-year-old’s death.

Narendra Narsing, chief of the Junior Doctors’ Association, told reporters Tuesday that they would call off the strike only if their monetary demands, including a hike in the stipend, were accepted by the state government.

State Health Minister Amar Agrawal met a group of junior doctors late Monday along with senior health department officials to break the deadlock. But the meet failed to produce any positive results.

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