Representational Image. Image Coutesy: DNA India
Patna: Mahender Prasad Singh, in his early 60s, a patient hit by severe heatwave, was in for a shock when he was brought to the Patna Medical College and Hospital on Monday morning, as he was advised by the hospital officials to return to his residence because the doctors are on strike.
Similarly, Lakhan Sahni, father of 7-year-old Ankita Kumari, who is affected by Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, was informed by officials of the government owned Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur that his daughter will not be admitted in view of the doctors’ strike.
Both Singh, and Sahni’s daughters were refused treatment as the ongoing doctors’ strike has brought the services in hospitals to a standstill. These are just two examples of how the strike has badly hit Bihar, which is in the grip of a severe heatwave that has killed 78 people in the last 48 hours and over 150 are undergoing treatment. Doctors from SKMCH hospital have also joined the
strike, where several deaths of children suffering from AES have been reported.
SKMCH superintendent Dr Sunil Sahi told NewsClick that the strike has not affected the treatment of those children suffering from AES who are already admitted and undergoing treatment either in ICU or paediatric and emergency wards. “So far, 80 children have died from AES in SKMCH in June while in Kejriwal hospital in Kuzaffarpur, 17 children died from AES,” he further said.
But Sahi was at a loss for words on being asked about the doctors’ strike affecting the out-patient department (OPD), as well as the new patients of AES brought in from Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts being returned without treatment.
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Additional Health Director Ashok Kumar Singh told NewsClick that since Sunday evening, no death of any child has been reported due to AES.
Patna Medical College and Hospital superintendent, Dr Rajeev Ranjan also claimed that the doctors’ strike had very less impact on the patient’s health.
In Aurangabad, which is the worst hit district by the severe heatwave and 34 people have died due to it in the last two days, the doctors’ strike has badly hit the OPD. According to reports, dozens of new patients suffering from heatstroke symptoms were returned without treatment from the Sadar hospital.
Angry over lack of facilities and doctors in Aurangabad, opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal and Hindustani Awam Morcha workers protested against Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey’s visit to the hospital on Monday by showing black flags.
In Gaya’s Anugrah Narain Medical College and Hospital, the OPD was has been badly affected by the strike and dozens of patients suffering from heatstroke were not provided treatment.
In view of the severe heatwave, Gaya district magistrate Abhisek Kumar Singh on Monday imposed section 144 to prevent people from going outside in the Sun in groups. He also issued an order stopping all construction sector works and prevent the organisation of any cultural and social functions in tge open from 11 am to 4 pm. No work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act will be allowed after 10.30 am.
Also read: AES Toll Mounts in Bihar, 59 Children Dead in Muzaffarpur
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is yet to visit Muzaffarpur even after over 100 children have died due to AES or Aurangabad or Gaya despite several deaths being reported due to heatstroke, has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the victims.
The government has also issued a heat alert in the wake of the rising death toll and advised people to take care while going outside during day time.