Mumbai: Patients heave sigh of relief as 12-hour IMA stir has little impact

Mumbai: The effect of 12-hour strike of IMA didn’t dispute the patient care in private hospitals in the city as most of the doctors were present at OPD. The medical service went smoothly without much disruption. A senior doctor said all the emergency services were working as per schedule.
Over 40,000 member-doctors of IMA, Maharashtra, out of which over 14000 are from Mumbai were to remain absent from the OPDs from 6am to 6pm on January 2.

The 12-hour strike is called by the national body of over 3 lakh doctors to protests against the allegedly, ‘undemocratic and bureaucrat ridden,’ National Medical Commission Bill. The bill, slated to be tabled in the assembly on Tuesday, will replace Indian Medical Council—a statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India.

Dr Rajendra Patankar, Chief Operating Officer of Nanavati Hospital said that some of their doctors have chosen to remain absent from the OPDs. “While a few of the OPDs are running, others are shut due to strike. But in any case, the in-patient care is not affected at all and it is running smoothly with involvement of all the doctors,” he said.

Some hospitals, asked the doctors to attend to their patients who couldn’t be informed about the strike. “The decision of strike was finalised late at night yesterday so not all the patients could be informed. Hence we asked the doctors to attend to the patients who had prior appointments because they had started coming to the hospital since morning,” said N Santhanam, CEO of Breach Candy Hospital.

Almost all the hospitals are ensuring that the patients, who have not come for emergency treatment, do not face any inconvenience. “We are sending the OPD patients with even little bit medical complication to the emergency wards so that he or she can avail treatment. However some of the OPDs are shut and the patients with prior appointments are informed,” said Huzaifa Shehabi, COO of Saifee Hospital.

Doctors also, from their side, have informed patients with prior appointments about their absence in the OPDs. “We have asked the patients to come after 6pm since the strike will be over by then. Moreover, we are available, most of us, at the hospital if there are emergency cases. Mostly OPDs are non emergency cases which are follow-ups and thus rescheduling of it would not affect the patient’s much,” said Dr Pradip Shah from Fortis Hospital.

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