Hyderabad: Following the death of a doctor, a second-year PG student, from a heart attack at Government Medical College in Nizamabad on Friday, doctors and medical associations have called for reducing the stress on resident doctors.
They say not only are junior doctors at government hospitals made to work for extremely long hours without a break, their duties are very hectic during working hours and they have no weekly holidays. In addition to this, they have to also keep up with their academics.
General secretary of Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) Dr N. Karthik from Gandhi Gospital said that once or twice a week, all junior doctors have to work a 36-hour shift, with breaks allowed only for meals. With this, they end up working for well over 70 hours in a week.
“The government should decrease the duty hours and reduce the burden on junior doctors by hiring more doctors. The doctor’s death in Nizamabad is the fourth such case in the past six months,” Karthik said.
Dr Srinivas Gundagani, adviser to JUDA and convener of resident doctors’ association at NIMS, said that for the past few years, the pressure on doctors of all clinical branches of super specialty and broad departments has been very high. To counter this, he said the government should recruit regular senior residents, regular doctors, assistant professors, DMOs and DFOs.
He added that doctors should only work in eight-hour shifts. “The government should form a committee to look into possible ways to reduce pressure on doctors,” he said.
Dr C. Sairam, senior oncologist and chairperson for IMA specialty doctors, said that even those who had completed PG are exploited in both government and private hospitals.
“There is a Supreme Court judgement which stipulates that employees should work for only eight hours a day, but it is ignored in case of doctors. Their life expectancy is lower than members of other professions,” he said.