Sunday, February 25, 2018
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A general ward at the government hospital in Jaipur on Saturday.

For the sixth consecutive day on Saturday, health services in Rajasthan remained crippled due to doctors’ strike, even as health minister Kali Charan Saraf announced another round of talks with the medicos on Sunday.

Saraf, in a statement, said talks would be held with a five-member team of the doctors, including All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association (ARISDA) president Ajay Choudhary.

Several rounds of talks have been held earlier but without any result. The doctors are on strike to press the government to meet their various demands, including hike in salary and reduction in working hours.

Meanwhile, the crackdown on striking doctors continued. Eight doctors were arrested or detained on Saturday from different parts of under Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA). On Friday, six doctors were arrested under the act.

“Fourteen doctors have been arrested or detained so far,” said additional director general of police, law and order, NRK Reddy.

Authorities say around 100 doctors resumed their duties on Saturday.

The fresh round of talks was announced in an effort to break the deadlock between the doctors and the government which has left patients suffering as services in government hospitals came to a standstill.

The government has been struggling to cope and has made alternate arrangements at private and other hospitals.

Congress state unit president Sachin Pilot slammed the BJP government, saying at a time when there is a medical emergency in the state, the chief minister is silent and the health minister was busy addressing press conferences.

To overcome shortage of doctors, the government empowered collectors to hold walk-in interviews for doctors at a salary of ₹56,000. Saraf said 24 doctors have been appointed through walk-in interviews across the state and have joined duty.

Saraf said the alternative arrangements have been made in healthcare organisations registered with the army, railways, BSF and CGHS. AYUSH medics are also treating patients.

Meanwhile, the resident doctors’ association of AIIMS, New Delhi extended support to the striking doctors.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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