Mumbai: The strike of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors – which was called off on Tuesday after assurances from Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan – resulted in long hours of wait for people visiting outpatient departments of civic-run hospitals. The BMC tried to fill the void by asking head of departments and senior doctors to look after the patients. The police made sure that the agitating medicos didn't speak to the media.
When The Free Press Journal visited the OPD of the King Edward Memorial in Parel, around 70-80 patients were waiting for their turn to get checked. Some had come even before the OPD started as they had other commitments but their plans were ruined. Similar scenario was seen at all civic-run hospitals.
“Since last week, I have had a cold and a cough so I was taking home remedies. It kept increasing so I thought of visiting the KEM Hospital as it's near to my house. I came at 7.30am on Tuesday as I had to reach Borivali by 11 for another work. However, I was unaware about the ongoing strike due to which I had to wait for two hours to meet doctors,” said Parinay Kantharia, a medical representative.
Another patient at the BYL Nair hospital had to return for two consecutive days as there were no doctors in the OPD after a certain time. “I had come on Monday for a routine check-up but due to the strike I had to return. The same thing happened on Tuesday morning and I have to go back without consultation,” said Sameer Khan, who runs a mobile shop in Charni Road.
Conceding that the OPD patients had to wait for checkups, a senior doctor from Sion hospital said that the reason behind it was the extra workload on senior doctors. “All these doctors have to first take rounds in their respective departments only then they can handle other departments.”
I came at 7.30am on Tuesday as I had to reach for another work by 11am. However, I was unaware about the strike due to which I had to wait for two hours at the KEM Hospital OPD.
“I visited the BYL Nair Hospital's OPD on Monday for a routine checkup. Due to the strike I had to return. The same thing happened on Tuesday morning.
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