Ranchi, Sep 30: Medical and teaching services remained hit in Jharkhand for the third consecutive day as doctors and teachers continued their strike to force implementation of the Medical Protection Act and oppose a government move to ban private practice.
The situation worsened on Day 3 as private doctors too joined the government doctors' strike on Friday under the banner of the Indian medical Association (IMA) and the Jharkhand Health Services Association (JHASA).
The patients are facing a tough time as doctors are unavailable for treatment.
Besides demanding the implementation of the Medical Protection Act, doctors have opposed the state government's move to ban private practice without giving them a non-practising allowance.
The doctors are also demanding that their working hours should be fixed. They also oppose the biometric attendance system being set up in government hospitals.
Except for the three medical colleges of RIMS, PMCH and MGMCH, the doctors abstained from working in the health care centres, sub-centres and block as well as sub-divisional level hospitals across the state.
However, they had promised that emergency and post-mortem services will not be hit.
According to IMA Secretary Pradeep Kumar Singh, doctors who are in private practice were also abstaining from work on Friday in support of the agitation.
IMA and JHASA have declared that if the state government fails to addresses their concerns then the doctors would tender their resignations en masse on October 15.
The agitating doctors even rejected the calls for talks proposed by state Health Secretary K. Vidyasagar.
According to JHASA Secretary Bimlesh Singh, the state government policies have forced the doctors to go on collective leave.
"If the patients are suffering due to the leave of the doctors then it is the health secretary who should be blamed for this. However, we regret the inconvenience being caused to the patients," he said.
Jharkhand Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi said that before going on strike, the doctors should have considered the suffering caused to the people.
The state government has initiated various schemes for the doctors, including an increase in their salaries.
"We have assured them that the state government is willing to address their demands as per the norms," he said.
Director RIMS Ranchi B.L. Sherwal himself visited the emergency and the OPD centres of the biggest government hospital in the state and assured that all possible steps were being taken to deal with the patients.
On the other hand, teaching activities have been hit as the para-teachers who teach in rural pockets of the state are on a strike since September 17 along with the Block Resource Persons (BRP) and Cluster Resource Persons (CRP) association which too are on strike from September 19.
Both the organisations have demanded direct recruitment as government teachers and also increase in allowances.
They have decided to 'gherao' the state headquarters of Jharkhand Shiksha Pariyojana till their demands are met.