40,000 doctors strike work in Gujarat in protest against directive to shift ICUs to ground floors
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40,000 doctors strike work in Gujarat in protest against directive to shift ICUs to ground floors

Ahmedabad, July 22, 2022

About 40,000 doctors of private hospitals here struck work on Friday putting off 30,000 surgeries in protest against a new directive to shift all intensive care units (ICUs) to the ground floors of hospitals.

As part of the stir called by the Gujarat branch of the Indian Medical Association, OPDs and emergency services will also remain shut. However, the treatment of inpatients will not be impacted.

The bone of contention between the doctors and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's fire department is a notice issued by the latter to private hospitals asking them to implement some new rules as per the Gujarat High Court's oral order.

The court has asked the hospitals to shift the ICUs to the ground floor within seven days.

After an application in the Gujarat High Court regarding fire safety in private hospitals in the city of Ahmedabad, a notice was given by the fire brigade and fire safety was taken up by the hospitals and they also got fire safety.

Claiming that it was not possible to carry out the shift, the Indian Medical Association, Gujarat branch decided to protest against it.

Doctors of around 2,000 hospitals across Saurashtra, including Rajkot, are on strike. Earlier in the day, a meeting of office-bearers and members of the Surat branch of the Indian Medical Association was held.

According to the doctors of Indian Medical Association, it does not seem possible to start ICU and NICU on the ground floor as per the new order.

A letter of appeal was submitted to the Collector and the Municipal Commissioner by the office-bearers of Ahmedabad Medical Association.

Dr Mona Desai, former president of Ahmedabad Medical Association, told IANS that the only objection is that the civic authorities took the decision based on mere verbal suggestion of the High Court.

It is not scientifically possible to make such a change in hospitals across the state within seven days. They should form a committee of doctors and study and think before coming to such a decision. Today is only a token strike, if this rule is not withdrawn there will be fierce protests, Dr Desai added.


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