The doctors’ protest march on Sunday against the state government received impetus with Bihar BJP president Dr C.P. Thakur joining them in raising their grievances.
Shouting slogans such as dadagiri nahi chalega and hamaari mange poori karo, around 1, 000 doctors, including 150 women medics, took to the streets protesting that their demands had not been met with.
Organised by Bihar Health Services Association and supported by Bihar chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Contractual Doctors’ Association, the march, christened Adhikar Rally, witnessed Patna Medical College and Hospital and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital medics joining in.
Thakur said: “Medics are being treated as bonded labourers. They should get a respectable salary. What they are getting at present is very less and not at all justified.”
Dr Ranjit Kumar, the spokesperson of Bihar Health Services Association, said if the state government did not take any concrete decision regarding their demands after January 16, they would call an indefinite strike. “One of our demands is that contractual doctors’ services should be regularised. The salaries and non-practicing allowance of the state government doctors should be at par with their central government counterparts. The government should also provide security to doctors at all government hospitals,” he said.
The medics also demanded that life-saving drugs be provided in adequate quantity at all government hospitals. The doctors alleged that they have to face the ire of patients and their attendants owing to shortage of such medicines.
However, the health department has come down heavily on doctors taking part in the protest. “If any doctor is found absent from duty but taking part in the strike, we will mark his/her leave as unauthorised. We have asked all civil surgeons and district magistrates to look after the government hospital during the strike period,” said health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey. The minister added that the department has formed several committees to take a decision regarding the demands of the doctors. The committe would come out with its decision within 15 days to three months.