Brawl triggers strike by AIIMS medicos

Brawl triggers strike by AIIMS medicos

Doctors resume work after assurances

Work in outpatient departments (OPDs) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was hit on Thursday as senior residents (SRs) went on strike following a brawl between the doctors and a patient’s family in cardio-neuro centre.

The strike ended at 2 pm after a meeting of the administration and doctors in which many of their crucial demands  were agreed upon.

The incident took place at 3.30 pm on  Wednesday. Family members of two young patients, twin sisters, entered  the consultation room of SRs demanding an early check-up. When an SR asked the family to wait and come in the queue, they allegedly attacked him.

“They manhandled the SR. When security guards came, they threatened further violence,” said Dr Sudipta Singh, president, resident doctors’ association (RDA), AIIMS.

The SRs decided to boycott work in OPDs, which functioned on the strength of senior doctors alone till Thursday afternoon. The services were affected as fewer doctors were  available.

The RDA, along with representatives from the CNC, met deputy director (administration) and other officials following which the institute lodged an FIR against the culprits.

“We have enhanced security in the hospital and lodged an FIR with regard to the incident,” said Dr Rakesh Yadav, acting public relations officer, AIIMS. The four culprits, were kept in police lock-up on Wenesday night after a complaint by the SRs.

In the meeting, it was decided that in addition to placing a guard outside every OPD within a week, a quick response team will be deployed in three days. Minutes of the meeting show the administration agreed for a waiting area for patients of the Cardio-neuro centre, to be built in six months, and colour-coded OPD cards for different time slots for the cardiology OPD.

Some faculty members expressed a different view on the security issue. “When there were 250 guards, there were no incidents of this sort. Now that there are 1,000 guards, we are seeing such insecurity. The difference is the change to contract labour. Those who do not have secured jobs cannot provide security to the institute. AIIMS spends Rs 18 crore a year on security, how much more will it spend?” said a senior faculty.

He claimed that security system in the institute is against the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 which says that services which are of perennial nature cannot be contractualised.

“Security is an essential service and of perennial nature,” he said.

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