Doctors` strike hits patients hard in Rajasthan
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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' houses...it shows 'feeling' and it should be appreciated."

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 issue.

"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 state.

"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 statement.

PTI


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


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