At least five people died under suspicious circumstances in Bihar's Gopalganj, officials said on Monday.
Eight more patients have died duing the ongoing strike by junior doctors at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) since Wednesday night, taking the total deaths to 15, official sources said on Thursday.
The strike has left hundreds of other patients, many of them serious, in a lurch. Ther attendants and family members do not know where to turn for medical attention. Seven patients died on Wednesday.
"Fifteen critical patients have so far died due to lack of treatment following the doctors' strike in the past 36 hours, which has badly hit the Emergency and Out Patient Department services," a hospital official said.
More than 500 junior doctors, who have struck work since Wednesday, are in no mood to relent till action is taken against police officials who canecharged them during a counselling session for admissions to post-graduate courses on Monday and left some of them injured, officials said.
PMCH Superintendent Lakhinder Prasad, however, said: "We have no record of deaths due to the ongoing strike. But I have been told of some deaths. Most patients who died were serious/critical. It has nothing to do with the strike."
Prasad said senior doctors have been deployed in the Emergency Ward due to the ongoing strike of then junior doctors.
Junior doctors of Patna-based Nalanda Medical College and Hospital too joined in the protest on Thursday to express solidarity with those in the PMCH.
Earlier, Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) doctors also extended support to the PMCH junior doctors. They have stayed away from work since Wednesday morning.