Mumbai: Patients at the state-run hospitals heaved a sigh of relief on Monday as the strike of state employees – who demanded restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) – finally ended yesterday.
The agitation aggravated the woes of patients as most of them had to return as their surgery dates were postponed due to the void of manpower created by the stir. Not just the inpatient services, but the outpatient departments were badly affected across Maharashtra. The problem occurred despite the fact that senior and junior nurses from civic hospitals had been roped in for handling patients.
Arrangements plan crumbled
Though all the state-run hospitals had made arrangements for handling patients, things couldn't go as planned. Even the emergency services fell flat. Official figures sought from hospitals show significant decline in the number of hospitalisations and patients treated during the strike.
“Patients who came for chemotherapy, some of whom even required hospitalisation, didn't receive immediate medical care at the hospital. Elderly patients, pregnant women and their family members who had not foreseen the strike had an argument with the hospital's administrative officials,” said a hospital staff.
Narayan Sanap, a relative of a patient whose knee surgery was postponed twice owing to the strike, said, “My patient has been suffering from a severe knee injury which requires surgery. We were given an appointment of March 14 which was later rescheduled to March 20 but now it has been postponed again,” he said. It is not acceptable that every time patients have to suffer due to strikewhile hospital authorities and government are least bothered, he fumed.
Saying that all routine work of hospitals will now begin as the strike has been called off, senior officials said that surgeries which have been postponed or cancelled will be given early dates so that there is no backlog.
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