Rajasthan doctors on strike for third day

Press Trust of India Jaipur | Updated on December 23, 2011 Published on December 23, 2011

The indefinite strike by doctors in Rajasthan, which entered the third day today, has so far claimed around a dozen lives and crippled medical services in the State.

All the government doctors working in hospitals, dispensaries, primary health centres and resident doctors of all the six medical colleges are on strike.

Private doctors and medical teachers also stopped work today for four and two hours respectively in support of in-service doctors who are demanding redressal of their long-pending demands of pay hike and time-bound promotions.

They also threatened the State government to join the strike on Sunday if the “justified” demands of the government doctors were not met by then.

Due to unavailability of treatment and medical assistance, around a dozen patients, including at least five in Jodhpur and one in Jaipur, have died so far. Deaths were reported in Sikar, Bikaner, Bharatpur districts also.

Doctors were also arrested under RESMA (Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act) from different parts.

“We have reports that about 1,000 government doctors and resident doctors across the State have been arrested under RESMA since the beginning of the strike,” Dr Mahesh Sharma, Vice-President of All Rajasthan In-service Doctors' Association, claimed today.

“It is very painful that around a dozen patients have died at different hospitals but it is all due to the State government,” he said.

However, police did not divulge details of arrests and deaths.

The State Medical and Health Minister, Mr Duru Miyan, said that the government is ready for talks. He said after a high level meeting that the government is making all possible efforts to minimise the impact of the strike by engaging retired doctors, and the doctors of BSF, Army and Railways.

“We have sought help from BSF, Army and Railways and made additional arrangements. The government is open for talks because the strike is not in the interests of the people,” the Minister said.

On the other hand, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) condemned the state government's move to invoke RESMA and termed it a suppressive step.

The CITU also appealed from the doctors to understand the problem being faced by patients and take a decision to end the strike.

Published on December 23, 2011
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