Medical services at private and public hospitals in Jharkhand came to a halt on Wednesday as many licensed doctors observed a boycott of services in protest of continued attacks on doctors in the state.
The Jharkhand Health Services Association (JHSA) and the Jharkhand branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said emergency services were exempt from the scope of the objection.
The associations require the Health Protection Act to be implemented in the state and the Clinical Organisations Act to be amended as soon as possible to better protect physicians. The protest comes after Ranchi‘s renowned orthopedic surgeon, Anchal Kumar, was attacked by unidentified villains on his residence on Monday.
The Sadar Hospital and Outpatient Department (OPD) of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in the capital Jharkhand look deserted during the day because of this. Medical director at Sadar Ranchi Hospital, Ajit Kumar, said: “They (doctors) were called but OPD, laboratory and ultrasound departments were assigned to the hospital. However, all types of emergency services remain unchanged.”
At RIMS, doctors and teachers loyal to the Teachers Association and Young Doctors Association did not go to work, forcing OPD to close all day. However, they did claim that the doctors went inside and went to the emergency room so that no patient was injured.
In Jamshedpur, teachers from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital, doctors and medics from Sadar Hospital, and doctors from private clinics and nursing homes held a rally at the Jamshedpur office of the Deputy Commissioner to protest. Doctors at Shahid Nirmal Mahto Medical University Hospital in Dhanbad boycotted the OPD service but treated patients in the emergency department.
IMA State Coordinator Ajay Kumar Singh said about 14,000 registered doctors from private clinics, nursing homes, medical centers and government hospitals, including six medical colleges in the state, joined the protest and boycott of labor on Wednesday. JHSA Secretary Thakur Mritunjay Kumar Singh said, “The state government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of doctors. Ironically, neither the governor nor any health officials contacted the medical team about this.”
He alleges that seven doctors were assaulted or insulted in the past two months in different districts of Jharkhand such as Garhwa, Hazaribag, Lohardaga and Ranchi, but no action was taken. Former Health Minister of Jharkhand, Bhanu Pratap Sahi raised the issue of doctors’ objections in Parliament of the day and said that the government should step in to solve their problems.
Although the government did not respond to Sahi in the House of Commons, state health minister Banna Gupta told reporters outside that the government would talk to the doctors and address their concerns. Regarding the assault on Ranchi‘s surgeon, Gupta said he asked the Ranchi Police Chief to find out the reason behind and ensure drastic action in the case.