BENGALURU: Fifty-two-year-old Lakshmi from Hulikere village, around 16km from Mysuru, had come to JSS Hospital on Friday with back pain. But she had to return disappointed and plans to come back on Monday. This was a fallout of the doctors’ strike.
“The back pain had turned severe on Thursday night, and hence, I don’t want to waste any time in getting diagnosed. I will come back on Monday,” said Lakshmi, who was not interested in consulting doctors in government hospitals.
On Friday, such examples were common in many hospitals in Bengaluru as many were caught unawares by the protest. Some private clinics in the city were open which provided some relief to the patients. The situation was similar in districts like Hubballi and Shivamogga.
All out-patient departments in private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics were closed in Hubballi, following the call given by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Karnataka. Doctors at nursing homes attended only emergency cases.
A majority of the hospitals displayed boards saying that OPD services were not available. In some hospitals, there were no patients at all.
At government hospitals like Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), OPDs witnessed heavy rush. KIMS director Dr D D Bant said patient footfall at OPDs was high compared to other days.
In Shivamogga, patients faced a tough time because of the closure of all major private hospitals, nursing homes and scanning centres across the district. Government hospitals witnessed a heavy crowd.
Sensing possible inconvenience due to the strike, the district administration cancelled leaves for doctors and hospital staff across the district.
For each taluk, three additional doctors were deputed and OPD counters were increased.
In Mangaluru and Udupi, OPDs were kept open till 10am for emergencies. Doctors attended surgeries after an initial demonstration on the hospital premises.