Patna: The junior residents of Patna Medical College and Hospital have reported back to work on Thursday. They have however, threatened an indefinite strike, if action is not taken against the College Principal within three days.
The doctors had gone off work on Wednesday, after Dr. Alok Kumar, their colleague had a heated exchange with the College Principal, Dr. SN Sinha while trying to enter the premises of the college on his motorcycle by getting past a barricade put up as part of a court order.It is alleged that the police on campus also rained lathis on him after seeing him fighting with the principal of the institution.
“The video footage does show exchange of blows between the principal and the doctor. It was clear from the footage that the principal first slapped Dr Alok, who was arguing with him while sitting on his bike. If the doctor was misbehaving with him, the principal could hand him over to the police. Why did he took into his hands,” a Department of Medicine, student stated.
“An association existed but it was dissolved in May this year as most of the office-bearers had passed out. We are in the process of forming a new association and will meet the department officials soon,” he added.
Dr. Alok Kumar was discharged from the hospital on Thursday after being given treatment for his ear and the bruises that he had on his body. Dr Gopal Paswan the surgeon on duty who admitted Dr. Kumar for examination said, “Dr Alok complained of problem in his ear. When ENT specialist was called for investigation, it was found that the tympanic membrane of his left ear had ruptured. This may require surgery.” Dr. Gopal also revealed that the patient had been complaining of dizziness and vomiting. He said that when Kumar came in he had bruises on his body.
Despite the flash strike being called off some junior doctors still did not join work. The PMCH Superintendent, Dr Lakhindra Prasad, in order to avoid a crisis from developing had Patna Civil Surgeon sent in 15 doctors to serve in the central emergency. No surgery was postponed due to the arrival of the doctors on a temporary basis.
The college Principal Dr. Sinha said that he had no information from absentee doctors and reiterated that doctors who abstained from work would suffer stipend cuts.
Deputy Secretary-cum-spokesperson of the Health Department, Anil Kumar, clarified that since the Principal Secretary was out of town, action would only be taken once he returned and an inquiry into the incident was conducted. ‘Action will be taken against those found guilty, ” he added.
The Indian Medical Association has sought a ‘viable solution’ to be reached, to ensure no further similar repeats.
“Steps must be taken to ensure proper principal-students relationship,” said State IMA, Secretary, Dr Harihar Dikshit.