The Health Department has asked the principal of the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) to take stern action against the agitating post-graduate junior doctors.
The direction followed a futile meeting of the secretary and the additional secretary, health and the agitating medicos on Wednesday.
The junior doctors, who have been on the warpath since November 10, summarily rejected the appeal made by the secretary Ravi Parmar and the additional secretary, health, Sanjeev Kumar Hans to call off their strike. The medicos were of the opinion that the government had nothing new to offer other than mere verbal assurance that their stipend would be enhanced.
Having walked out without heeding the advice of the bureaucrats, the government toughened its stand and asked the principal to take stern action against the agitating junior doctors. This could mean first issuing show-cause to the striking junior doctors and then initiating the process for their rustication.
The hospital administration even rejected the medicos' appeal to allow them run a parallel outdoor patient department (OPD) on the hospital campus and make available equipment for blood donation. "As planned, we could not donate blood to poor patients because the hospital administration did not supply us the requisite equipment for blood collection. We will approach the Red Cross Society tomorrow," said the secretary of the Junior Doctors Association, PMCH, Dr Dheeraj Kumar.
He, however, claimed that 489 patients attended the parallel OPD camp run by the junior doctors.
Meanwhile, the full bench of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) will meet on Thursday to decide on the action it would recommend to the government after junior doctors of the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and the Darbhanga Medical College Hospital spurned its request to call off their indefinite strike.
The commission had heard the government through its Principal Secretary, Health, on Monday and the striking junior doctors on Tuesday.
SHRC member Justice Rajender Prasad told the Hindustan Times: "We are considering all aspects of the junior doctors' strike and will take up the matter before the full bench tomorrow."
The post-graduate junior doctors of the PMCH and the Darbhanga Medical College Hospital are on an indefinite strike, demanding hike in monthly stipend from Rs 13,000 to Rs 25,000 and implementation of residency scheme for them.
The State Government has offered to extend security cover to those agitating post-graduate junior doctors of the PMCH and the DMCH who were willing to dissociate themselves from the strike and resume duty. The government offer followed a request to the PMCH principal by students of the breakaway faction of the JDA. These students were reportedly fed up of the ongoing strike and wanted to resume duty.
Meanwhile, principal DMCH Dr S N Sinha told HT that some students had approached him for conditional joining of duty. "I will first talk to the principal secretary, health, and then take a call on it," he added.