Doctors` strike hits patients hard in Rajasthan

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 22:47

Jaipur: Patients continued to have a
harrowing time in Rajasthan where doctors` indefinite strike
for promotions and better pay entered seventh day today with
no significant sign of thaw between the agitating medicos and
the Ashok Gehlot government.

About 60 people have died in the state since the
beginning of the strike allegedly due to non-availability of
medical help.

Private doctors and medical college teachers in Jaipur
also struck work for a few hours in support of the agitating
government doctors, whereas Indian Medical Association warned
the state government that it would join the protest if the
issue was not resolved.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has appealed to the agitating
doctors to give up their "adamant attitude" and resume duty
for the sake of people. Meanwhile, alternative medical
arrangements have been made with the support of Army, BSF,
railways, private hospitals and retired doctors.

"I once again appeal to the agitating doctors to leave
the adamant attitude and resume duty for the sake of people,"
Gehlot told reporters on the sidelines of a function. "They
can protest against government by holding dharnas, shouting
slogans but they cannot create trouble for patients."

Gehlot claimed that the people of the state were against
the doctors` strike. "Milkmen in Kota decided to not supply
milk in doctors` shows `feeling` and it should be

Accusing the state government of misguiding and provoking
people, Dr RC Yadav, a representative of medical college
teachers` association here, said, "The government does not
want to initiate dialogue with the agitating doctors and
misguiding people over the issue. Doctors who were arrested
are being treated like criminals, it is highly condemnable."

Over 6,000 government doctors working at district
hospitals, dispensaries, primary health centres across the
state are demanding pay hike and time-bound promotions.

Dr Shivraj Singh, treasurer of private hospitals and
nursing homes society, said that the majority of around 5000
private doctors boycotted work in OPDs.

However, those private hospitals which have been
authorised by the government to treat government hospitals`
patients did not join the boycott and functioned normally.

Expressing solidarity with the agitating medicos, the
Indian Medical Association in its 73rd central council meeting
held at Banglore asked the Gehlot government to resolve the

"IMA demands immediate release of arrested doctors and
take back RESMA (Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act)
against the doctors otherwise IMA will be constrained to
direct all its members to join the action," Dr Vinay Aggarwal,
National President, IMA, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a government official claimed that 56
agitating doctors today resumed duty in different parts of the

"Number of doctors (in-service, newly recruited, others,
private, Army, BSF, railway and CRPF) engaged in the
arrangements across the state increased to 1516 today. 130
interns have also been engaged," according to the official.

Against the doctors` strike, milkmen in Kota did not
supply milk to doctors` houses today.

"We decided to cut supply of milk to doctors` houses
because patients and their relatives are suffering in
hospitals because of them," Devkaran Gujjar, a milkman, said.
BJP state president Arun Chaturvedi dubbed as unfortunate
the Chief Minister statement given yesterday.

"Gehlot`s provocative statements are unfortunate. It is
surprising that he is adamant at the time when people all over
the state are suffering. The strike is a result of
government`s insensitivity towards doctors," he said in a


First Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 22:47

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