Doctors go on mass leave in Rajasthan, kid dies at Dholpur hospital

A two-year-old boy died allegedly due to lack of treatment at the Dholpur district hospital on Friday, the day doctors went on a mass leave to press for their demands.

jaipur Updated: Dec 08, 2017 21:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Doctors,Mass leave
Beawar: A View of a general ward at the Government Hospital during the doctors' strike in Beawar, Rajasthan on Tuesday. PTI Photo (PTI11_7_2017_000073B)(PTI)

A two-year-old boy died allegedly due to lack of treatment at the Dholpur district hospital on Friday, the day doctors went on a mass leave to press for their demands.

Bharat Kumar of Basai Nawab village in Dholpur’s Senpau sub-division was injured after he fell from a walker on Thursday evening. His parents rushed him to the Senpau community health centre, but doctors referred the boy, reportedly in critical condition, to the district hospital on Friday morning.

The boy’s father Raju Kumar said doctors at the district hospital were busy in a meeting during their mass leave. “Nursing staff gave my son oxygen, but he died,” the father said, blaming the absence of in-service doctors for the death.

The hospital’s principal medical officer Dr Ashok Jindal said, “I am not aware about such an incident; I will inquire if doctors were absent.”

The All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association (ARISDA) had announced the mass leave to protest the state government’s silence on its demands, and the transfer of 12 doctors.

The in-service doctors had gone on a strike on November 6 and called it off on November 12 after talks with the government which, they said, accepted most of their 33 demands.

The demands included correction in salary discrepancies, Rs 10,000 as grade pay benefit, improvement in service conditions, safety inside hospitals, separate cadre and housing facility.

“The government has not honoured its commitment though 25 days have gone after the agreement was reached on November 12,” said ARISDA president Dr Ajay Choudhary.

“Doctors had given three-day ultimatums twice -- from December 1 to 3, and from December 5 to 7 -- but no action has been taken for implementation of the agreement.”

The mass leave evoked a mixed response. “In-service doctors were present at hospitals in Jaipur and other cities; only a few were absent,” said health minister Kali Charan Saraf. “Doctors were not given mass leave. Action will be taken against those who remained absent; their salary will be deducted.”

The mass leave affected services at primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs) in Kota district. The protest did not have much impact on health services in Kota city. Teaching doctors and resident doctors were roped in for alternative arrangements in government hospitals.

In Bharatpur, doctors attended patients on roadsides near Raj Bahadur Memorial Hospital to register their protest. The PHCs and CHCs wore a deserted look in Alwar district.

“If the public faces problems, then the government is responsible and not the in-service doctors,” the ARISDA president said. “If the government tries to suppress our agitation, then all doctors will go on an indefinite leave,” Dr Choudhary warned.

Association’s senior vice-president Dr Lakshman Singh Ola said, “The government should immediately stop its suppressive actions and implement the agreement, so that doctors do not feel humiliated.”

(With inputs from Bharatpur, Alwar and Kota)

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 20:48 IST