Jaipur, March 28 (IANS) OPD services will remain closed in Rajasthan on Wednesday due to the doctors’ ongoing protest against the Right to Health Bill that was passed in the Assembly last week.
The Bill gives every resident of the state the right to emergency treatment and care ‘without prepayment of requisite fee or charges’ by any public health institution, healthcare establishment (including private ones) and designated healthcare centres. Private doctors are demanding withdrawal of the Bill as they fear it will increase bureaucratic interference in their work.
Supporting the private hospital doctors, now the doctors of all ranks in government hospitals have also decided to boycott work on Wednesday, even as the state government has made preparations to take action against the protesting resident doctors.
Due to the protests, OPD service will remain closed at the PHC, CHC, sub-district hospital, district hospital and hospitals attached to the medical college in the state. More than 15,000 doctors and faculty members at medical colleges are participating in the protest.
The All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association (Arisda), the union of medical officers and doctors of PHC-CHC, has already announced boycott of work on Wednesday. Now the teachers of government medical colleges have also come in their support.
The President of Rajasthan Medical College Teachers Association, Dhanjay Agarwal, said, “Only OPD will be boycotted during the strike. Patients coming to the emergency and patients admitted to ICUs will be given complete treatment. For this purpose, we have deployed doctors round-the-clock while making the arrangements.”
This strike call was announced by the doctors who gathered outside the superintendent’s office at the SMS Hospital in Jaipur on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the government has now decided to take action against the resident doctors who are agitating at government hospitals. The medical education department has issued an order asking the principals of all medical colleges in the state to cancel the registration of resident doctors studying in their colleges, who misbehave with patients’ relatives during the agitation.
The department has also asked medical professionals at all the medical colleges and attached hospitals to send their attendance by 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, adding that leaves will be approved only under special circumstances.