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Patients Bear The Brunt Of Doctor’s Strik

As the indefinite strike by doctors belonging to five medical colleges in Delhi entered the sixth day, hundreds of patients, especially from weaker sections, were left high and dry //as the striking medicos denied treatment for them.

Hospital guards posted at the emergency and outpatients department (OPD) are turning away distraught patients. Hundreds of others, women and children included, keep waiting for hours before going away disappointed.

The junior protesting doctors, opposed to affirmative quotas in institutions of higher learning, may have set up some temporary camps to treat some patients but it is clearly not enough for the poor who cannot afford private medical care.

"I have been waiting outside the emergency ward for almost four hours to avail treatment for my four-year-old son who is suffering from a chronic breathing problem," complained Bhikari Yadav from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh on the edge of the Indian capital.

"I was turned away at Safdarjung hospital. Now I am here at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) hoping someone will look at my child," Yadav told IANS, sounding pathetic. "I am here today at the cost of a day's earning. What I want is doctor's attention."

Afsana, 21, who came to AIIMS to get her tumour treated, also related her negative experience. "I was turned away by guards and when I asked the reason, they told me to read newspapers and watch TV.

"Though I can understand the concern of the protesting doctors, they also must understand the plight of thousands of poor people," she said.

Since Friday evening, resident doctors at the five medical colleges in New Delhi have been on an indefinite strike to protest against a plan to reserve 27 percent more seats in higher education institutions for the underprivileged.

Shanti Devi, after suffering neglect by doctors for two days, cannot hold back her tears. Her son suffers from chicken
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