Medical and health care services in private hospitals and the state government run OPD were jot and patients were seen running from one government hospital to another for treatment in parts of Rajasthan as the doctors’ strike against the Right to Health Bill continued on the 11th day on Wednesday.
Most of the private hospitals continued to disallow patients to admit either emergency or OPD, and patients having insurance cover of RGHS, CM Chiranjeevi Health Scheme were denied their access/privilege. Long queues were seen in the government hospitals, community health centres and dispensaries as the doctors have a real tough time to bear the patients’ load due to the seasonal disease weather.
The Indian Medical Association, Rajasthan unit, and All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association (ARISDA) and Rajasthan Medical College Teachers’ Association (RMCTA) have jointly given a call for complete strike in private hospitals and the Government’s OPD barring some real emergency cases.
Late last night, the State Government has issued an urgent circular directing the heads of medical colleges to take disciplinary action against staff who take part in the agitation and planning to boycott the work. Resident doctors and medical college faculty have decided to join striking private doctors in solidarity in their protest against the RTH.
Rajasthan Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena is constantly denied to accept their demand to roll back RTH since the bill was passed in the assembly on March 21. Meena reiterated, “It is a law which has been prepared for the people and by the people’s representatives (MLAs). Private doctors have no right to protest against it as their leaders have approved the Select Committee report formed by the House”.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot differently justified the Bill’s importance in the public interest on Twitter, Facebook, and in a full page advertisement in the media, and appealed to the doctors to come back to their jobs and serve the patients in their health needs.
The IMA doctors including Pankaj Anand, Rajesh Sharma and Vinita Patni sat on a relay hunger strike against RTH at JMA Hall in Jaipur, its President Dr Sunil Chug told SNS here.
“To make the public aware of anomalies of the unconstitutional bill and the losses to the society, the doctors started a Marshal Yatra in villages”, Chug said.
One protesting practitioner Dr V K Jain of Sikar, who announced to quit to medical profession, issued a full page advertisement in the Hindi newspaper listing 57 negative points of RTH bill.
In his appeal to the doctors’ fraternity, PCC President Govind Singh Dotasara said the protesting doctors and the government should hold talks to resolve the differences over the RTH bill. The bill has only been passed in the assembly, and rules are yet to be framed in it. Thus both sides should sit together to clear the confusion prevalent in the doctor community, he added.