Resident doctors at AIIMS who were protesting the assault on one of their colleagues by a senior doctor today called off their strike following several rounds of meetings with the administration. “The strike has been called off. We request the director to declare Monday a working day so that the surgeries which were cancelled due to the strike can be conducted. We, resident doctors, want to compensate in every possible way,” a member of the Resident Doctors Association said.
The protest was called off following several rounds of meeting between the AIIMS administration and the protesting doctors. The strike affected health care services at the premiere hospital for three days. The resident doctors had been demanding that the administration suspend the senior doctor who had allegedly slapped one of their colleagues in front of patients and other staffers.
Routine surgeries were cancelled, out-patient clinics functioned in a restricted manner and patients seeking OPD consultation were sent back due to the strike. Only the emergency and ICU services functioned. The senior doctor, who heads a department at the premier institute, had yesterday tendered a written apology for assaulting the resident doctor and proceeded on leave on the directions of an internal probe panel. Another senior doctor from the department has been made the acting chief of the centre pending an inquiry.
A doctor said thirty of his colleagues “have submitted complaints against the senior doctor. Some of them are very serious in nature. He has been accused of misbehaving with female resident doctors. Some cases of 2013 have also come to the fore”. AIIMS Nurses Union also condemned the incident and sought an early action into the matter.
In a letter to Guleria, the Resident Doctors Association had alleged that the senior doctor slapped a senior resident in front of attendees, nursing staff and colleagues, and that the resident doctor was in depression. The RDA said an atmosphere of fear existed in the department headed by the senior doctor, and that nobody protested as the chief threatened to fail the junior doctors.
The RDA has written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, who is also the president of AIIMS, seeking revocation of Padmashree and Dr B C Roy awards to the senior doctor. “We reprimand all his actions and request you to consider revoking his B C Roy and Padmashree awards, as we believe that he is not worthy of holding such prestigious awards,” they said in their letter.