Doctors go on strike in Uttarakahand, medical services hit

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Dehradun, Sept 12 (UNI) Medical services, especially the Out Patient Department (OPD) services, in government hospitals in Uttarakhand were thrown out of gear following doctors going on a day-long statewide strike to protest manhandling of a senior doctor in Srinagar Base Hospital by advocates last night.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand Bar Council too declared a statewide strike demanding action against the doctors, alleging slackness on their part in treating an advocate who died in the hospital.

State President of Uttaranchal Health and Medical Association Dr D P Joshi told UNI that the emergency services and postmortem have however been kept out of the strike's purview. ''Dr J P Chamoli is a senior doctor with 35 years of service and his being mishandled was unfortunate,'' he said, adding that he, along with other members of Association, would meet the Health Minister in this regard.

The doctors have threatened to intensify their protest if the persons involved in assaulting Dr Chamoli were not arrested immediately. They also demanded a judicial probe into the matter.

State Health Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' told UNI that he has ordered a magistrial and departmental probe into the incident and was in contact with the Director Health and other senior officials. ''I am hopeful that the doctors would end their strike by this evening,'' he said, adding that if the strike continues, then they would would discuss ways how the services could be resumed.

On the other hand, members of Uttarakhand Bar Council too observed a day-long boycot of their offices in the state, demanding action against the doctors. Advocates from all over the state reached late advocate Krishna Kumar Bangwal's residence to take part in his last procession.

Pauri CO VK Sharma said that the situation in Srinagar was under control and so far no arrest has been made and no charges filed against doctors.

The problem started with death of the advocate in Srinagar Base Hospital in Pauri district. Lawyers present there allegedly manhandled Dr Chamoli, charging him with not attending to the patient in time by group of advoctes. They also reportedly stoned the house of another doctor Mukesh Sundriyal, whereupon both the doctors were accorded police protection.

UNI

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