Safdarjung docs to begin strike today

Over 1,500 resident doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital decided to go on indefinite strike from Tuesday after the medical superintendent at the hospital got his transfer orders.

With resident doctors being the backbone of any government-run hospital, patients may face a harrowing time during the strike triggered by the transfer order received on Monday evening.

The resident doctors have not given any assurance on when the strike would be withdrawn.  

“The transfer order was sudden as the current medical superintendent had served the term for slightly over a year now. There were marked improvements in the functioning of the hospital,” said a senior resident doctor, requesting anonymity.

“We are unhappy with the sudden transfer,” the doctor said. The protesting doctors alleged that the new medical superintendent has charges pending against him, an accusation which could not be independently verified.

A senior administrative official termed Dr Rajpal’s transfer as “sudden” and said the order “did not cite any reason”.

Dr Rajpal has been given a Delhi government posting. His charge will be taken over by Dr A K Roy who was serving as the Additional Medical Superintendent at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.

Dr Rajpal was earlier the medical superintendent at Delhi government-run Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

Dr Rajpal tried to distance himself from the strike. “I would appeal to the doctors to not go on strike for the transfer order. Patients bear the worst brunt during hospital strikes. So I believe strikes cannot be a solution,” he told Deccan Herald.

Doctors claimed there would be no improvement in hospitals if medical superintendents were posted for short periods.

“People usually lose the will to bring changes if they are given postings for such short duration,” said a senior administrative official.

During strikes by resident doctors, outpatient departments often become paralysed – even when specialists are pressed into service.  The emergency departments also suffer severely.

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