The All India Doctor’s strike has hit the city of Bengaluru badly. All the non-emergency services in the city have been shut down which caused quite a chaos in the early morning hours at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). Elsewhere in Bengaluru patients had to sit on the footpaths after resident doctors at the Victoria Hospital stood in support of the strike outside the hospital under the OPD building.
Lack Of Medicines Hitting Patients With Mental Illness Very Badly
Patients made a beeline at the NIMHANS in the morning but were eventually told that they will have to return tomorrow again as no services were working. The patients from the different parts of the state thought that at least the outpatient department services in the government hospitals will be kept open and hence made a beeline to the counter. One of the patients said, “I came here at 7 am. The security here said that they were unaware of what would happen and told us that we have to wait till 9 am. Even after that, we have heard nothing.”
Another patient complained,” I had a prescription for just one week. Not even tables can be taken from a pharmacy now.” It is a challenge to get tablets for mental illness as this medicine is not readily available in pharmacies. One other patient said, “Here at NIMHANS, we have to wait for another week for treatment. We cannot even come back tomorrow. There’s no point in protesting all day long. We take leave every time we have an appointment as it takes long hours and a working day has also been lost.”
The chief minister of Karnataka H D Kumaraswamy has said “Assault on anyone is unacceptable. I condemn the attack on doctors and Request the doctors on strike today to ensure that their protest is peaceful And does not cause any problems to patients.”
Assault on anyone is unacceptable.
I condemn the attack on the doctors and request the doctors on strike today to ensure that their protest is peaceful and does not cause any problems to the patients. #DoctorStrike #DoctorsProtest
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) June 17, 2019
Patients Sitting Along Footpaths Outside Victoria Hospital
The resident doctors at the Victoria hospital in the city protested under the BMCRI (Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute) banner outside the OPD building of the hospital. Ironically, many patients were seen sitting along the footpaths along the road. Pradeep, one of the patients from Kengeri said, “I came here to visit a psychiatrist and I wasn’t aware that the hospital would be closed today. The doctors have said they will not be attending to patients today, but I’m still waiting to see if anything can turn my way.”
Another woman said, “My mother has been having problems since last 15 days and her surgery was fixed for today. But now everything is closed.” There was yet another woman who was at the hospital for her husband who was having stomach pain and was not aware of the strike. She said, “I have no option but to get him back here tomorrow.”
Although the hospital OPD has a help desk facility it was clueless about when the doctors will come back to work.