MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi will bear the brunt of the agitation from Friday
Services at state-run hospitals and clinics in and around Jamshedpur will take a hit from Friday, with contract doctors planning an indefinite statewide strike over pending salary and regularisation.
The protest, under the banner of All Jharkhand Contract Doctors’ Association, is expected to aggravate the existing manpower crunch at several government health centres and hospitals in entire East Singhbhum district.
Currently, 18 primary health centres, nine community health centres, 52 health sub-centres, Khasmahal Sadar Hospital and MGM Medical College and Hospital use the services of contract doctors.
Civil surgeon Jagat Bhushan Prasad feigned ignorance over the agitation plan, but admitted that regular doctors would be under severe stress if there was indeed a strike.
“We are already grappling with staff shortage. Against a requirement of 100 doctors, we have only 67. The agitation of contract doctors will lead to further problems, as more than 15 of them render their services at health centres across the district,” he said.
Speaking to The Telegraph, state president of the doctors’ outfit Mritunjay Singh said that nearly 209 contract doctors would be joining the protest.
“Most doctors are rendering their services since 2003 and have not been regularised despite a cabinet move in this matter. To add insult to injury, we have not been paid our wages (nearly Rs 20,000 per month) for the past six months. The circumstances have compelled us to launch this agitation,” said Singh.
He further said that they would meet state health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh in Ranchi on September 13 and convey their grievances.
“We will meet the minister and put forth our demands. The course of agitation will depend on his response. A group of contract doctors will stage a dharna in front of his Ranchi office if the meeting is not fruitful,” the association president added.
In August 2011, the cabinet had agreed to regularisation of contract doctors on the condition that they clear the JPSC examination. As many as 209 candidates qualified the test, the results of which were declared in May this year.
Blaming principal secretary (health) K.Vidyasagar for delaying regularisation of services, Singh threatened that agitators might enter his Ranchi chamber and immolate themselves.
“The principal secretary’s adamant stand has aggravated our problems. After the JPSC exam, we should have been regularised. However, he is unnecessarily delaying the process,” he claimed.