Medical services were affected in Rajasthan on Tuesday as resident doctors at government hospitals have gone on an indefinite strike in support of their various demands.
The strike began on Monday night. In Delhi as well, resident doctors of the Centre-run RML, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge hospitals boycotted all routine and emergency services from Monday in support of a nationwide protest called by the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) against the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling.
The resident doctors of medical colleges in Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Ajmer, Jhalawar, Bikaner and Jodhpur are on strike. Long queues of patients were seen in outpatient departments (OPDs) at government hospitals in Rajasthan owing to the strike. Senior doctors are looking after the arrangements and patients.
"The state government has taken no positive step to fulfil our justified demands which can be fulfilled with immediate effect. Looking at the government's apathy, we had no other option but to go on indefinite strike from Monday night," said Dr Amit Yadav, president of Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors. He said that since there were no resident doctors in the first year and heavy workload was there on other resident doctors due to the Covid pandemic, the academic activities have been badly affected and therefore one of their key demands is to get relaxation in submitting paper presentations, posters and thesis.
The memorandum of demand also includes positive efforts by the state government to coordinate with the Centre to get the issues regarding NEET-PG counselling resolved at the earliest. He said the resident doctors are engaged in "clerical works" related to the Chiranjeevi health insurance scheme and Bhamashah scheme in hospitals due to which they get less time for studies and for attending to patients in hospitals.
"We demand from the government to disengage us from these clerical works so that we can devote time to medical works and academics," Yadav said. The Rajasthan government has also been appealed to increase the post of senior residents.
"There is no response from the state government or invitation for talks. We had a meeting with a senior official of the state government yesterday but the talks remained inconclusive," he said on Tuesday.