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Decision on strike to come after rally

Sources said a section of the striking doctors was in favour of ending the stir.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 19:11 IST

Hectic activity at the government level on the ongoing medicos' strike continued on Saturday amidst speculation that a decision about the two-week long anti-quota agitation, which has paralysed health services in the government hospitals, is expected later in the day.

Health Secretary PK Hota and AIIMS Director P Venugopal visited the Prime Minister's Office on Saturdaymorning. However, details of the visit were not available.

Asked on whether he expected a positive outcome today, Hota said, "we are hopeful".

Sources said a section of the striking doctors was in favour of ending the strike.

"We may announce a decision about our agitation after the rally," Dr Vinod Patro, President of the AIIMS Resident Doctors Association, said on Friday.

The striking medicos, who are organising a rally from Veer Bhoomi to Ram Lila Maidan on Saturday, had intense deliberations after their meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday.

They also met Hota last night. However, they announced to continue their agitation till the talks with the government were on.

Before the medicos' meeting with the Prime Minister, the situation was discussed at a high-level meeting of medical superintendents of all hospitals and Health Secretary Hota with the Cabinet Secretary, the sources said.

In the meeting, AIIMS Director P Venugopal proposed the number of seats in the institute could be increased from the current 50 to 90, the sources said. However, the Cabinet decision was pending on the matter, they said.

Each of the Central Government-run medical college has been asked to give details on the infrastructure and their capacity to increase seats, officials said.

Meanwhile, health services remained affected due to the strike with only emergency services functioning in most of the government hospitals.

A doctor in LNJP Hospital said that only skeletal services were running with no new patients being admitted.

In RML hospital, Dr NK Chaturvedi, Medical Superintendent said "yesterday, 2,000 patients visited our OPD but limited operations are being carried out. Sixty four of the 131 senior resident doctors are absent and 82 of the 164 junior residents are absent."

First Published: May 27, 2006 11:23 IST