Doctors on strike: Patients travel all the way to Mumbai for treatment, but find closed doors

With nearly 4,500 resident doctors on leave, public hospitals like KEM Hospital decided to cancel all outdoor patient department services and postponed the planned surgeries

Doctors on strike: Patients travel all the way to Mumbai for treatment, but find closed doors
Nearly 40,000 doctors are on mass leave across the state saying they are afraid to treat patients following the assault cases reported from across Maharashtra

“My son’s both kidneys have failed. He needs a kidney transplant as early as possible. I am ready to donate my kidneys, but the report that will confirm my eligibility as kidney donor for my son’s transplant is yet to be seen by my doctor. There is no such facility in Yavatmal or Nanded, so I had to come all the way to Mumbai,” said Ramakant Jadhav (55), who has been waiting at KEM Hospital, Parel since Monday.

Several patients and their relatives like Jadhav have been severely affected due to the state-wide resident doctor’s strike that started on March 20.

With nearly 4,500 resident doctors on leave, public hospitals like KEM Hospital decided to cancel all outdoor patient department services and postponed the planned surgeries. Senior doctors decided to carry only emergency duties in the hospital resulting in many patients like Jadhav to either wait endlessly at the hospital or to return home without consulting a doctor.

“My son is on dialysis. We are waiting for doctors to see the report so that we decide on what next step should be taken. And this strike is delaying the process of transplant. Doctors are responsible person of our society.  Somebody does something at far place and people like us have to suffer. What is our fault,” questioned Jadhav.

Jadhav is not alone who is facing due to strike. 16-year-old Raziya Shaikh (name changed), a Wadala resident, having pain in her abdominal region since last 3 days. They came on Wednesday as doctors were not there to consult, they were told to come on Thursday but they are facing same problem. As Shaikh is ailing and need consultation early to relief from pain they are worried what if doctor’s strike continues.

“There are many like us who can’t afford to get treated at private hospitals, so such hospitals are convenient for us but this strike has spoiled everything. There is no one to answer our queries, do not even know when this will end,” said Shaikh’s mother.

“Nurse has given some pain relief injection but she is still paining. We will wait for some time then will leave for home. Just hoping doctors will resume soon,” added Shaikh’s mother.

Whether it’s elders or infants, doctor’s strike is affecting everyone. Many patients had come for their regular treatment, had come with proper appointment.

Nilesh and Rekha Sawant (name changed) parents of three month old baby girl are waiting in hospital’s premises and wondering why doctors are not there?

“We had given appointment of March 23, but as we came here the doctors are not around to treat. Our baby has been diagnosed with Hernias; today we were supposed to get the date for the operation. As there is strike we will come back again on next Thursday. We feel helpless and do not have any other option,” said Rekha Sawant Mother of baby.

“If this strike continues we will have to start the treatment at private, we cannot risk the life of our child,” said Nilesh.

Sahil Barude (name changed), 11-year-old, has come with father at KEM, as he has swelling on his neck.

“It’s been a year Sahil’s treatment is on at KEM for brain tumour. From last some days we are observing painful swelling on his neck. We had an appointment but there are no doctors. OPD is also closed. What are we supposed to do now,” said Barude’s father.

Every patient who came to KEM is leaving slowly as day is about to end, with the hope of doctors will get back to work and they will get treatment in coming days.