Patna: Junior doctors of Patna Medical College, have called it a strike after a heated exchange took place between the Principal, Dr S.N. Sinha, and a final year student in the Anesthesia Department.
It is reported that the principal as well as a student came to virtual blows after the argument . The incident took place on Wednesday, when the student Alok Kumar, was trying to enter the premises of the college on his motorcycle by getting past a barricade put up as part of a court order. As he was not wearing any apron or carried any identity card, he was stopped by the guard which led to a heated argument between the two. The principal, who was around intervened, and ordered the doctor to take an alternative route.
Eyewitnesses allege that the initial heated exchange between the two soon took an ugly turn, when the two doctors turned violent. Dr Sinha explaining his action said, “The young man started beating me and I retaliated ” The policemen on duty overpowered the doctor by raining lathis on him.
As the word spread, junior doctors on duty in the emergency came rushing out and took an instantaneous decision to boycott work. The striking medicos have demanded an unconditional apology from the principal “He should have handed over the junior doctor to police. Instead he humiliated all of us,” one of them, preferring anonymity informed TOI.
The state Health department , coming out in support of the Principal, Dr Sinha seems to have an adverse view of the developments on campus.
“Enough is enough. They have beaten up the principal. Who is going to be their next victim? They resort to strike at the drop of a hat,” said Chandra Shekhar Verma, Joint Secretary (health), after his visit to the college. He said the body would support the Principal in the action he decides to take against the erring doctor, though within the parameters of law.
Meanwhile, Dr Sinha, Principal PMC has had a meeting with the HODs and a decision has been taken jointly to refrain from allotting any duties to the doctors. The Principal further alleged of having been threatened of dire consequences with the student Alok Kumar boasting of his political links.
“The student called a powerful politician in my presence. Within moments my OSD Dr Arun Kumar received a call from the politician, asking him to settle the issue amicably,” Dr Sinha said, refusing to name the politician.
The principal also alleged that Alok Kumar was a habitual offender who has recently assaulted a doctor of the surgery department. According to Sinha on another occasion he had also beaten up an obstetrics and gynaecology department doctor. Dr Sinha admitted to have lodged an FIR against him in the Pribahore police station.
Speaking about action on striking students, Dr. Sinha said striking students would be marked absent and stipends deducted if they did not resume duty.
As interim action, the hospital has decided to deploy senior residents and faculty members in the emergency ward. “We have also requisitioned 50 doctors from the Patna civil surgeon’s office,” said PMCH superintendent Dr Lakhindra Prasad. He asserted that patients would not suffer due to the strike.