Jaipur: The indefinite strike by doctors in
Rajasthan, which entered the third day on Friday, has so far
claimed around a dozen lives and crippled medical services in
All the government doctors working in hospitals,
dispensaries, primary health centres and resident doctors of
all the six medical colleges are on strike.
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.
They also threatened the state government to join the
strike on Sunday if the "justified" demands of the government
doctors were not met by then.
Due to unavailability of treatment and 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.
Doctors were also arrested RESMA (Rajasthan Essential
Services Maintenance Act) from different parts.
"We have reports that near about 1,000 government doctors
and resident doctors in all across the state have been
arrested under RESMA since beginning of the strike," Dr Mahesh
Sharma, Vice President of All Rajasthan in-service doctors`
association, claimed today.
"It is very painful that around twelve patients have
died at different hospitals but it is all due to the state
government," he said.
However, police did not divulge details of arrests and
Dr SS Agrawal, Hon Secretary, Indian Medical
Association, Rajasthan branch said, "all the 6116 in-service
doctors are on strike for their justified demands since
December 21 but the government has no sensitivity. Today,
around 10,000 private doctors and 2000 medical teachers joined
them for certain period".
He said that if the government doctors` demands were not
met, every doctor in the state would be on strike from Sunday.
On the other hand, the state medical and health minister
Duru Miyan said that the government is opened for all talks
He 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 the doctors of 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
On the other hand, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)
condemned the state government`s move to invoke RESM and
termed it a suppressive step.
"Action against doctors is undemocratic and a suppressive
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 and take their decisions
to end the strike by making some positively consensus.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government has suspended nine
government doctors for remaining absent from work.
The doctors who have been suspended are Dr Nasreen Bharti
(Jaipur), Dr Rakesh Gupta and Dr SK Brijesh (Tonk), Dr Ashok
Chaudhary (Sikar), Dr Rajkumar Saxena, Dr MC Jain, Dr J
Sharma (Alwar), Dr PC Kothari and Dr Pradeep Chaudhary
Principal Secretary of Medical and Health, B Sharma said
that the government is engaging retired professors and doctors
on daily honorarium basis.
While a MBBS degree holder is being offered Rs 2,000 per
day, specialists are being given Rs 3,000 per day, he said. A
night allowance of Rs 500 is also being given to these