Docs' stir paralyse 5 dists of Rajasthan; 15 dead

Jaipur/Jodhpur: Medical services were virtually paralysed in five major districts of Rajasthan with residents doctors in at least 50 government and private hospitals going on a strike against alleged lathicharge on medicos in Jodhpur.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the strike by the doctors. Officials sources said that at least 15 people have died so far in Jodhpur as they could not be provided treatment in time due to the stir which began yesterday.

"Medical services have been affected in SMS hospital and associate hospitals including Janana Hospital, Mahila Hospital, JK Lone hospital, and one private Mahatma Gandhi hospital," Dr. KK Sahu, President of Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors said.

On Saturday night, attenders of an injured patient Nemi Chand Mali allegedly misbehaved with resident doctors on duty at MDM government hospital in Jodhpur, official sources said. A scuffle soon broke out between the medics and the kin of the patient following which police resorted to lathicharge to control the situation, they said.

Demanding action against senior police and administration officials, private and government doctors went on a strike in around 40 hospitals in Jodhpur, while resident doctors have struck work in Jaipur, Kota, Ajmer and Bikaner.

Senior government doctors have announced a day's mass leave tomorrow in Kota and private doctors will join the strike in Jaipur tomorrow.

"All the private doctors have decided to go on strike tomorrow affecting services in around 400 private hospitals," Dr. Shivraj Singh, Secretary of Jaipur Medical Association claimed.

"In all government and private hospitals here, doctors are on strike since yesterday and the strike will continue until government takes action against those involved in the lathicharge," Pramod Sharma, President of Doctors' Sangharsh Samiti, Jodhpur, said.

Naresh Roy, Secretary of Rajasthan Medical College Teachers' Association-Kota, said that 70 resident doctors are on strike in two government colleges and 100 senior doctors and medical collge teachers will go on one-day mass leave tomorrow in support of Jodhpur doctors' demand.

Doctors in Jodhpur, 285 kms from Jaipur, took out a protest march and burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Gehlot today reviewed the situation with state Health Minister A A Khan and senior officials.

"It is a matter of concern. Doctors and nursing staff must cooperate with patients and their kins. Doctors are like God for patients but it is condemnable that doctors are not behaving like this," Gehlot said in a statement.