An appeal to all doctors- Protest for your right but don’t put patient at risk – A response to the patient cause reported in Times of India regarding doctors’ ongoing strike in Jharkhand – THE HUMAN RESCUE TEAM

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An appeal to all doctors- Protest for your right but don’t put patient at risk – A response to the patient cause reported in Times of India regarding doctors’ ongoing strike in Jharkhand – THE HUMAN RESCUE TEAM

Healthcare trauma: Contract doctor strike on 2nd day

TNN | Jul 20, 2011, 12.34am IST RANCHI/JAMSHEDPUR/ BOKARO: Hundreds of patients returned unattended from government hospitals on Tuesday as the ongoing strike ofcontract doctors hit healthcare services in the state. The health minister has appealed to the protesters to return to work on "moral grounds".

In Ranchi, Sadar Hospital and Doranda hospital were affected by the strike.

Over 12 patient admitted for ligation and NSV under a Centrally-sponsored scheme of population stabilization kept waiting for doctors, while some of the patients coming to primary health centre with orthopaedic ailments had to contact general physicians who were trying to compensate for the absence of contract orthopaedics.

Acting civil surgeon at Ranchi A K Choudhary admitted that the strike had partially affected healthcare service even in the capital. "We are trying to manage the crisis but with the limited number of regular doctors at our disposal and the number of patients coming everyday, the situation is really challenging," he said.

Reports coming in from several blocks of West and East Singhbhum districts suggest that patients are agitated as the administration has not made any alternative arrangement.

"The strike has not affected the health services much. We are making all arrangements to see that patients get adequate treatment at PHCs", said East Singhbhum civil surgeon Dr Vibha Saran.

Healthcare services in Bokaro remained affected with over 22 contract doctors joining the agitation for the past two days forcing the patients in government hospitals to suffer immensely. Many patients made their way to private hospitals. New admissions to the hospitals were almost nil. Of the 88 doctors in the district health department, about 22 doctors are on contract. "Doctors have attended to patients only once in a day. Crisis of doctors in hospitals has affected administering proper treatment to us," said Mangal, a patient in Chas Subdivisional Hospital.

Bokaro civil surgeon Mithlesh Kumar said the absence of contract doctors had slightly hit the work. Meanwhile, contract doctors have convened an emergency meeting at the state office of Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Ranchi on Thursday. The association has also requested officials of the IMA and the Jharkhand Health Service Association (JHASA) to participate in the meeting and decide the future course of action in the wake of an appeal made by state health minister to call off the strike.

Altogether 78 contract doctors, who have been sent to man the health camps in Shravani Mela in Deoghar, have refused to join. The strike has also hit the organization of national fortnight on population stabilization.
Issuing an appeal to the contract doctors through the media, health minister Hemlal Murmu said the government had already taken necessary steps towards regularizing their job and asked them to return to work on moral grounds.
The finance and law departments have already given their nod to appoint contract doctors against vacancies in the health department and the matter is awaiting the cabinet approval, Murmu said adding his department was making an effort to seek the cabinet nod in the next meeting.

Murmu said given the importance of health services and suffering of common man during the rainy season, when diseases like malaria, viral fever and diarrohea are at its peak, the doctors must call off their agitation on humanitarian ground.

Responding to the appeal, Jharkhand Contract Doctors’ Association president Ajay Kumar Singh said they had decided to convene an emergency meeting on Thursday and seek the guidance of senior doctors of the state government and IMA for deciding their future course of action. "We have always been eager to cooperate with the government, but more than seven years have passed since we have been demanding regularization of services," he said.

Extending moral support to the demand of contract doctors, the JHASA has also threatened to proceed on mass leave from August 16. "We have decided not to get carried away by appeals of the government. Let the officials concerned first fulfill our demands, only then we will listen to their pleas," said Dr Mritunjay Singh, secretary, Jamshedpur Chapter, IMA, and functionary of the Jharkhand Contractual Doctors’ Association.


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