To protest against the extension of OPD timings in Delhi government-run hospitals, resident doctors have decided to go on strike on 1 November, as a result of which all OPDs will remain closed on Wednesday.
The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), in a statement said, “We are being forced to take some serious steps as the government has not been addressing our issues. We are currently protesting peacefully against this by wearing black ribbons in all state-government hospitals till 31 October,” said Dr Vivek Chouksey, president of FORDA.
In its 9 October order, the Delhi government had extended the OPD timings saying the facilities would remain functional from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that there is enough time to attend to patients and avoid crowding. Earlier, the OPD timings were from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
FORDA, earlier, had sought the government’s response on its objection to extend the OPD timings along with some other issues by 21 October. In a letter to the Delhi Health Secretary, FORDA had said after the order, long queues of patients were seen at government hospital pharmacies and registration centres, but no measures have been proposed for reducing the queues or waiting time at these facilities.
“There should be a written order stating the duty hours of doctors, in compliance with the 48 hours a week working schedule and that should be strictly adhered to. Also, there should be uniformity of working hours for all government hospital doctors in all settings like OPD, wards and operation theatres,” the FORDA letter said.
It said there should be adequate manpower at all the OPDs as it is essential for the smooth conduct of activities in view of the heavy patient load.