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Doctors’ strike enters Day 2 in Rajasthan

The health department has directed all district collectors in the state to appoint medical officers on Rs 56000 honorarium through walk-in interviews.

jaipur Updated: Nov 07, 2017 20:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Patients wait for doctors on the second day of doctors’ strike in Jaiupr on Tuesday. (Prabhakar Sharma)

The doctors’ strike entered the second day on Tuesday crippling medical services in Rajasthan. The health department has invited All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association (ARISDA) officials for talks on Tuesday. It is expected that chief minister will talk to the striking doctors at the 6 pm meeting.

Government doctors went on indefinite mass leave from Monday demanding better pay and separate cadre.

Meanwhile, the health department has directed all district collectors in the state to appoint medical officers on Rs 56000 honorarium through walk-in interviews.

Health department deputy secretary Paras Chand Jain said that even though the in-service doctors have claimed to have submitted their resignations, the state government has not received them. The All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors’ Association president and officials have also not submitted their resignations, Jain added.

He said according to Rajasthan Service Rules, the doctors can’t go on mass leave or submit mass resignations. According to service rules, the striking doctors can be suspended or terminated.

Jain said that the home department on September 17 had slapped Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA) on medical services for three months. According to the order, strict action can be taken against the absent doctors and they can also be arrested. The government has asked police and jail administration to be ready.

Owing to the strike, the patient load on government hospitals attached to medical colleges has increased in six districts — Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur. Patients want to seek advice from doctors at government hospitals instead of going to government PHCs, CHCs or dispensaries. At present, the nursing staff is looking after the CHCs, PHCs and dispensary in rural areas.

A view of a general ward at the Government Hospital during the doctors' strike in Beawar on Tuesday. ( PTI )

“I have come to the dispensary to consult a doctor for my ailing son. When I saw that there are Ayush doctors here instead of allopathic doctors, I decided to go to a private hospital,” said Sandeep Sharma at a government dispensary in Kota.

Talking about the impact of the strike, deputy director, medical and health department, Kota, Dr Hemendra Vijayvargiya said that admissions in the government PHC, CHC and dispensaries have significantly declined.

ARISDA general secretary Dr Durgashankar Saini said that health services in the state have crippled due to the state government’s adamant attitude. The government is not addressing the grievances and demands of the in-service doctors, said Dr Saini.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 20:34 IST