“Despite some treatment in Patna, the swelling around the knee worsened. We came here at AIIMS around 5 a.m. on Thursday to ensure we get a chance to meet the doctor, but the guard told us that treatment was not available today,” said Ram.
It was not just Ram but many others who came from several parts of the country and had to wait since medical services were affected as Resident Doctors Association’s of AIIMS, Safdarjung and major hospitals in Delhi were on a strike opposing the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
For Pushpa Mehra, it was even worse: her husband Munish Mehra, who was admitted in the emergency ward, was pushed out early in the morning. Pushpa herslef is a kidney patient, and with the sole earning member of the family on hospital bed, she was having a tough time with her husband on the stretcher out in the heat.
“He has been in deep pain and I don’t have many hands to help me. Our son is 18 years old who was told to take his father to another hospital. How can I go everywhere when I am sick,” said Pushpa.
As patients were suffering inside the AIIMS compound and other hospitals, several doctors outside AIIMS staged a protest and blocked traffic near the Safdarjung flyover.
Over 200 policemen and traffic personnel were deployed to regulate traffic. The doctors wanted to march to Parliament, but were moved back to outside AIIMS.
Akram (20), a cancer patient from Muzaffarnagar (UP), had to visit doctors on Tuesday, but due to the Kanwariya movement, he could not. And on Thursday when he did, he was told about the strike. Akram along with his mother had stayed on the road the previous night just to make sure they get the treatment.
(Sakshi Chand can be contacted at sakshi.cA@ians.in)