COLD STATISTICS Government reveals the sordid story before the Bombay High Court, promises strict action
Mumbai : In a startling revelation, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government informed the Bombay High Court that 377 patients from 22 government hospitals across the state have died in four days of the doctors’ strike.
These statistics upset the bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G.S. Kulkarni. Pulling up the resident doctors for taking “undue advantage of the court’s sympathy”, the Bombay High Court on Friday directed the striking doctors to resume work by Saturday morning or face action.
Earlier on Friday Chief Justice Chellur had directed all resident doctors to resume work immediately and resolve their issues with the government amicably. It is during the hearing that advocate Suresh Pakhale representing the BMC told the court, “Till now, 377 patients from 22 hospitals across the state have lost their lives out of which 135 are from three BMC-run hospitals — King Edward Memorial (KEM), Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital (Sion) and Nair Hospital since March 20 when the ceasework began.”
Dr Avinash Supe, Dean of KEM, however, refuted this claim saying the deaths have not been caused due to the strike. “These deaths are not due to non- availability of emergency services.”
When this reporter visited the surgical ward of KEM hospital to see the condition of patients, a resident doctor who was present in the ward said, “The media is not allowed here and who gave you the permission to come inside the hospital.”
The patients at the hospital, who were admitted before the strike started, said doctors are usually rude with them. A police officer posted at KEM hospital said, “In the 10 years that I am doing duty, I have not seen such incidents. The patients and their relatives get agitated because of the behaviour of some doctors. I know there is lot of pressure on doctors to treat so many patients but this is just not the way to deal with the sick.”
During the doctors’ strike, 24-year-old Anita Devi from Dombivli gave birth to a girl weighing 3.8 kg outside the gates of the King Edward Memorial Hospital. Anita said she was in great pain, but was not allowed inside the hospital.
Dinesh Singh, the father of the baby, was upset with the experience. “My wife was not allowed to enter the hospital. To our shock, the doctors asked us to come after the strike gets over. I have never seen this sort of a treatment,” he said.