Doctors’ strike claims a dozen lives in Bihar

November 11th, 2009 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Nov 11 (IANS) Nearly a dozen patients who were admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here died because of a strike by junior doctors which entered its second day Wednesday, officials said. The doctors are demanding payment of the increased stipend that was promised to them earlier.
“All the patients died during the first 24 hours of the ongoing strike,” an official said. More than 500 junior doctors went on an indefinite strike late Monday night, demanding payment of the increased stipend they were promised after a round of agitations this August.

The strike has badly hit the emergency services and dozens of surgeries have been postponed. Hospital authorities have sought the help of the health department to cope with the situation and have asked for 100 doctors from various parts of the state.

“Junior doctors were forced to go on strike as the government was not sticking to its promise,” Naqui Imam, a leader of the junior doctors’ association, told IANS. “The Bihar government has failed to pay us the increased stipend it promised.”

“In August after an assurance from the Bihar government of a hike in stipend, we withdrew our five-day-long strike. But we were not paid,” a doctor said.

Hundreds of poor patients, who came for treatment from across the state, have been victims of the ongoing strike. The state government has asked the hospital authorities to hold a meeting with the junior doctors and persuade them to end their strike.

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