Rajasthan: Doctors call off 12-day strike after successful meeting with Health Minister

Jaipur: The resident doctors in Rajasthan, on December 27, ended their strike after nearly eight-hour talks with the state government was successful. The doctors will reportedly join their duty from Thursday.
The in-service government doctors went on an indefinite strike on December 16 against the arrest of some of their fellow doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA). As many as 86 doctors were arrested in the state after they demanded better work conditions and salary benefits. The government invoked RESMA after the doctors threatened that they would go on strike.
The meeting between a delegation of doctors led by Ajay Chaudhary, president of All-Rajasthan In-service Doctors Association (ARISDA), and state Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf and others had taken place earlier in the day.
The strike called by the doctors had left Rajasthan’s medical services in a paralaysed state. Major operations in various district hospitals had to be postponed due to the strike. Services at the SMS hospital in Jaipur also remained affected. The Rajasthan Civil Service Appellant Tribunal had also directed that FIRs be filed against doctors due to whose dereliction of duty around 300 patients have died in the state, reports IANS.
The Rajasthan High Court, which had earlier asked the agitating doctors to resume their duty, on Monday directed the state government to take action against them, following which the state gave 24 hours time to the agitators to resume work. Many doctors had also reportedly gone underground fearing arrest after the court’s order.
Dr Ajay Chaudhary, president of the All Rajasthan In-Service Government Doctors Association, accused the government of taking oppressive measures against the doctors. The doctors have also accused the government of not fulfilling the promises made to them last month and taking vindictive actions including transfers.
During the strike, the Resident Doctors’ Association of AIIMS wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to “live” their life for a day to understand their stress.“We are lucky to have an active PM like you… Now RDA AIIMS requests you to put (on) white apron and spend one day as a government doctor to understand the tremendous amount of pressure we face, the agony of patients who did not get treatment, the dying healthcare system due to lack of resources and infrastructure,” AIIMS RDA president Harjit Singh Bhatti wrote in the letter. “Your one day as a government doctor can be a turning point for the healthcare system as it will restore faith in the medical profession,” the letter read.

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