Junior doctors of Gandhi Hospital continue strike, demand resumption of non-COVID services

The indefinite strike called by the resident doctors of Gandhi Hospital, the nodal COVID-19 centre in Telangana, entered its second day on 12 November.

By Sumit Jha  Published on  12 Nov 2020 11:53 AM GMT
Junior doctors of Gandhi Hospital continue strike, demand resumption of non-COVID services


Hyderabad: The indefinite strike called by the resident doctors of Gandhi Hospital, the nodal COVID-19 centre in Telangana, entered its second day on 12 November. The doctors are demanding the re-opening of the non-COVID wards in the hospital.

Gandhi Hospital has been treating COVID-19 patients since Telangana reported its first coronavirus case on 2 March. The non-COVID wards have been shut down since and patients have been directed to Osmania General Hospitals and others.

Now, the doctors are claiming that the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has significantly come down. There are around 306 positive cases in Gandhi Hospital but all 1,800 beds are reserved for COVID-19 patients, they claimed, adding that the hospital has better and superior infrastructure and human resources which is not being utilised.

"When TIMS has already been established why can't we designate it as the nodal centre for COVID-19 and shift these cases there? Even if they are admitted at Gandhi, we can continue treating them and assign 200 bed or one wing for the infected patients. Meanwhile, non-COVID services can resume," said Dr. Khizer Hussain, the general secretary of Telangana Junior Doctors Association's unit at Gandhi Hospital.

He further said that the unavailability of non-COVID services was affecting patients. "COVID-19 is not the only disease affecting people. Gandhi Hospital has all facilities under one roof. People don't have to run to different corners to get treated. Resuming services will help them and that is our main motto," he added.

The resident doctors are also claiming that Gandhi Hospital is a teaching hospital where around 600 resident and junior doctors study and work. Suspending non-COVID services is disrupting their studies, they alleged. Dr. Hussain said, "They are here because they want the exposure and the quality teaching this hospital provides. Other peers from non-COVID hospitals are not missing their academics."

He said that for junior doctors in other hospitals, learning has not stopped while those in Gandhi Hospital are still learning from textbooks or through video lectures and Zoom meetings. "We cannot learn medicine online. We need practical experience because it improves our acumen and makes us better doctors," said Dr. Hussain.

In Gandhi Hospital, the curriculum is designed in such a way that students have peripheral posting and in their second year s/he will be posted to other departments for integrated learning. The student comes back to his/her department in the third year, with a better understanding of the subject.

"Residents miss out on crucial posting. We might lag behind our peers. We should have equal exposure. We don't have hands-on training as operation theatres here have not been functioning for the past six months. Surgery is a significant part of our training. We want the hospital administration to resume services," said Dr. Hussain.


Update: The Gandhi Hospital will be now open for non-covid services. The Director of Medical Education has issued instructions to the Superintendent to make necessary arrangements to open the non-COVID wards. COVID and non-COVID wards will be bifurcated in the hospital.







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