Rajasthan doctors’ strike hit medical services across state


Medical services were affected in parts of Rajasthan on Wednesday after government doctors and faculty members in medical colleges went on a one-day strike in solidarity with private doctors agitating against the Right to Health Bill.
However, many government doctors attended to patients in OPDs at places like Bharatpur, Alwar and Udaipur. Emergency services and ICUs were exempted from the strike.
There was not much impact of the boycott in Sawai Mansingh (SMS) hospitals, the largest state-run hospitals in the state. Similarly, the services remained unaffected in Dausa, the hometown of state Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena.
In Rajasthan, private doctors are demanding withdrawal of the Bill passed in the state assembly last Tuesday. According to the Bill, every resident of the state will have the right to emergency treatment and care “without prepayment” at any “public health institution, health care establishment and designated health care centres”.
Iqbal Khan, joint secretary, health department, had on Tuesday issued an order to medical college principals directing them to ensure that medical services in OPD, IPD, ICU, emergency and maternity wards were not affected and to take disciplinary action against the doctors going on leave without approval.
Meena said the strike was “unfair” and “unjustified” and that the doors of the government were always open for any negotiation.
Taking a tough stand, the state government warned of disciplinary action against the government doctors for going on leave without approval. As a result, some of the doctors returned to work after boycotting work for two hours in Alwar, Bharatpur, Udaipur and Dungarpur.
Amid the protest, Bundi collector Ravindra Goswami, who is also an MBBS doctor, attended to a few patients in the district hospital.
The management of OPD in SMS hospital was handled by additional principal, additional superintendent and other doctors engaged in administrative work.
“We are trying our best that no patient returns without consulting the doctor. Nursing staff is cooperating with us,” Rajeev Bagarhatta, principal of SMS medical college, said.
Meanwhile, many people from neighbouring states were caught off guard as they were unaware of the strike. “I came from Haryana today to consult a doctor for my cousin who is facing weakness and problems in the nervous system.