Medical crisis deepens; Raj docs resign en-masse
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011, 00:07
Jaipur: The medical crisis in Rajathsan due to an indefinite strike by doctors, which has crippled health services and left over a dozen patients dead, deepened on Friday with 5,000 medicos submitting their resignations.

All the government doctors working in hospitals, dispensaries, primary health centres and resident doctors of all the six medical colleges are on strike since December 21.

Private doctors and medical teachers also stopped work today for four and two hours respectively in support of in-service doctors who are demanding redressal of their long-pending demands of pay hike and time-bound promotions.

A representative of the All Rajasthan in-service Doctors' Association handed over resignations of 5,000 doctors of the state medical and health department.

"Dr Durgashankar Saini met the director and handed over to him resignations of 5,000 doctors of various districts. Several other doctors in different districts have also forwarded their resignation to respective district collectors," Vice-President of the Association Mahesh Sharma claimed.

He alleged a crackdown on striking doctors who have been arrested under Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act.

Sources said due to unavailability of medical assistance, around a dozen patients including at least five in Jodhpur and one in Jaipur have died so far. Deaths were reported in Sikar, Bikaner, Bharatpur districts also.

"It is very painful that around twelve patients have died at different hospitals but it is all due to the state government," Sharma said.

SS Agrawal of Indian Medical Association, Rajasthan branch, said, "All the 6116 in-service doctors are on strike but the government has no sensitivity. Today, around 10,000 private doctors and 2000 medical teachers joined them".

State medical and health minister Duru Miyan said that the government is open to talks.

Miyan said after a high level meeting that the government is making all possible efforts to minimise the impact of the strike by engaging retired doctors and those from BSF, army and railways.

"We have sought help from BSF, Army and Railways and made additional arrangements. The government is open for talks because the strike is not in the interest of the people," the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government has suspended nine government doctors for remaining absent from work.

On the other hand, BJP demanded from the government to address the issues of the agitating doctors.

State president Arun Chaturvedi said that the government's attitude towards the doctors is unfortunate and chief minister should step in to resolve the issue in the interest of public.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) condemned the state government's move to invoke RESMA and termed it a repressive step.

"Action against doctors is undemocratic and a repressive move by the government and RESMA should be lifted with immediate effect so that doctors may return to their hospitals," Hetram Beniwal, state president of CITU said.

"The government should clarify why it did not take step to negotiate with doctors when the doctors had given them enough time for that before the strike," he said.

The CITU also appealed from the doctors to understand the problem being faced by patients.

A government spokesman said that alternative medical arrangements are being made in the state as directed by Rajasthan High Court.

The Jodhpur bench, following a petition seeking a ban on the strike in public interest, directed the state govrnment yesterday to make proper arrangements.

Principal Secretary of Medical and Health, B Sharma said that the government is engaging retired professors and doctors on daily honorarium basis.


First Published: Friday, December 23, 2011, 23:58

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