Raj govt arrests over 400 doctors as strike continues

Raj govt arrests over 400 doctors as strike continues

 Cracking the whip on striking doctors, Rajasthan government has arrested over 400 doctors under the essential services act as the stalemate between agitating medicos and authorities continued for the sixth day today throwing medical services out of gear.

Non-availability of medical services has claimed around 50 lives. Left unattended, some hospitalised patients have succumbed to their injuries including a 45-year-old Afghan national, hospital sources said.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, "Strict action will be taken against doctors for carrying out such strikes. We don't want people to suffer. Such strikes create anger amongst people and, therefore, doctors should resume work as soon as possible."

While the government has hardened its stand over the issue and dismissed 10 medical officers and two Chief Medical and Health Officers (CMHO) late last night, doctors are also adamant over their demands for time bound promotions and pay hike.

All government doctors working in hospitals, dispensaries, primary health centres and resident doctors of all the six medical colleges in the state have been on strike since December 21.

A total of 410 doctors have been arrested, most of them under the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA), and 40 doctors have been suspended, official sources said.

Meanwhile, Afghan national Mohammad Daud, who was injured after a mini bus hit him at MI road here, died at the Sawaiman Singh Government Hospital here yesterday, hospital sources said today.

Daud died after he was allegedly left unattended at the hospital, they said.
To minimise the impact of the strike, government has engaged the services of private hospitals in the state, with many facilities opening their doors for patients admitted to government hospitals. According to an official, a total of 1,720 beds in private hospitals are now available for government patients in Jaipur and all the district collectors have been asked to ensure services of private hospitals for patients of government hospital.
Army, BSF and Railway have also provided their services on request by the state government.

Taking up cudgels for the agitating doctors, the Indian Medical Association has criticised Rajasthan government's stand over the strike and demanded revocation of RESMA.
Demanding that doctors arrested under RESMA be freed immediately, Secretary of IMA Rajasthan S S Agrawal had asked the government to invite the agitators for dialogue to "understand their grievances".

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