Patna, Feb 2 (IANS) Over two dozen patients admitted at six hospitals in Bihar have died during a strike by junior doctors that entered its third day Wednesday, officials said.
Hundreds of junior doctors are on an indefinite strike, demanding the arrest of a legislator and enforcement of the Medical Protection Act. The doctors are from the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, Patna Medical College and Hospital, Bhagalpur Medical College and Hospital, Darbhanga Medical College, Muzaffarpur Medical College and Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College Hospital (ANMCH).
'Over a dozen patients have died in the last 24 hours due to lack of doctors and treatment in the hospital,' an official said.
The official said that absence of doctors in the emergency wards had led to most of the deaths. However, the government is yet to officially confirm any death due to the doctors' strike.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has appealed to the striking junior doctors to end their agitation and resume work.
Health department officials say that negotiations between striking doctors and the authorities are going on.
Most of the wards of the hospitals wore a deserted look as hundreds of patients were forced to shift to private nursing homes.
'Those who cannot afford treatment outside have been left in the lurch and are waiting for treatment,' a nurse in the hospital told IANS.
'The functioning of all the six medical colleges and hospitals is crippled since Monday. Emergency services have been hit and surgeries postponed. The hospitals have witnessed an exodus of patients,' a health official said.
Three interns of ANMCH in Gaya, about 100 km from here, were injured Sunday night when security guards of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislator Surendra Prasad Yadav fired at them after a scuffle over the treatment of a woman patient.
Police have arrested the two bodyguards who fired at three interns but failed to arrest the politician.