After 3 days of protests, Hyd Gandhi Hospital doctors conditionally call off strike

The doctors have said they may have to restart protests 'in an intensive manner' if their demands are not met in 15 days.
Telangana doctors' protest
Telangana doctors' protest
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The Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) decided to conditionally call off their strike from Friday, after three days of deadlock between the state government and protesting healthcare workers.

The junior doctors had gone on a flash strike on Tuesday night after relatives of a COVID-19 patient who died attacked a doctor. Police have already arrested two persons involved in the attack.

In a statement on Friday morning, TJUDA said that it had "decided to conditionally call off the strike and resume duties with immediate effect" in order to aid the poor patients who come to the hospital for treatment.

More than 300 junior doctors were on strike, demanding better security and decentralisation of Gandhi Hospital as the nodal centre for COVID-19 treatment among other issues.

Issuing its list of demands, TJUDA said that, "Gandhi Hospital, being a super-speciality hospital, capable of handling (for free) a variety of acute and chronic diseases, poor patients can be best benefited by resuming non-COVID-19 services here."

The Health Minister assured the doctors that this would be discussed with the cabinet and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. 

"Management of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) cases and asymptomatic coronavirus patients should be decentralised and adequate provisions should be made for the treatment of these cases in their respective district hospitals and private medical colleges," the TJUDA had demanded.

The TJUDA also demanded that more doctors, nurses, patient care providers and sanitation workers should be recruited to fill a shortage, besides having a 30% extra force in reserve.

"Adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers should be ensured, the quality of which will be chosen by JUDA before placing the order," the statement added. 

The doctors also said that they were forming a committee which would follow up with the Minister's office through video conferencing for the next 15 days on updates of the demands. 

"We are hopeful that the Health Minister shall personally take care of these demands so that we don't have to boycott duties again in a more intensive manner after 15 days," TJUDA said. 

"Keeping public health into consideration, especially in view of the pandemic, we are trusting the Minister's reassuring words," the statement by the doctors added.

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