511 patients die due to doctors’ strike in Bihar in last four years: Minister
Patna,(BiharTimes): May sound unbelieveable nevertheless true. Officially a record number of 511 patients died in Bihar in four years due to innumerable strikes by the junior doctors in the state. The unofficial figure may be still much higher. What is alarming is that these figures continue to rise every year.
According to the health minister, Nand Kishore Yadav, 59 of them died in 2006, 81 died in three strikes in 2007 and 132 in the year 2008. Out of this 110 died in six days period of June 1 and 5. In fact doctors went on strike thrice in just one month period of May-June last year. On a couple of occasions the junior doctors went on strike after being allegedly attacked by the attendants of the patients. The strike took place at the height of the visit of the inspection team of the Medical Council of India. The repeated strikes forced the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, to even threatened that he would close down the Patna Medical College and Hospital, which had gone on strike most of the time. Even criminal cases were lodged against a dozen junior doctors but the state government had to withdraw them following the intervention of some senior doctors and ruling party politicians.
In between this period senior doctors also went on strike with their demands, but it had to be called off followingn the intervention of the high court.
The health minister told the state legislative council on Tuesday that in all 239 patients died in strikes in 2009, the last one to take place in November, to press their demand for the increase in stipend. As high as 178 patients died between November 10 and 21 in the Patna Medical College and Hospital alone when the junior doctors went on strike. They were later joined by their colleagues in the Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital.
Sixty-one death were reported between August 27 and 31 in another strike called for the same reason. The state government then assured that it would give enhanced stipend. However, when it failed to fulfil the promise the junior doctors went on strike once again.
The minister told the legislative council that the state government has no plan to cancel the licence of striking doctors as suggested by the State Human Rights Commission after the November strike.
The state government is not in the position to take any strict action as most of the time the doctors went on strike because of its failure to provide security to them or pay proper stipend though it was repeatedly promised.
We in Bengal have got competition from Bihar in having the worst administration as far as hospitals are concerend.
511 people have died in Bihar because of strikes by doctors.
I wish our Bengal government would give the figures of number of patients who have died in our hospitals because of non-treatment or bandhs and strikes.
I had said earlier that we have been put in the same category as Bihar in 32 years of Left Front Rule.