Jaipur witnessed a massive protest by doctors on Monday against the Right to Health Bill. The Indian Medical Association declared the day as Black day, observed not only in the state but throughout the entire country. This is the eight straight day of strike of doctors working in private medical institutions.
Doctors took out a foot march on the streets of Jaipur and demonstrated their strength on Monday in protest against the Right to Health Bill (RTH). The protesting doctors of the state have received support of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and marked it as a Black Day. IMA has further called for a nationwide shutdown of medical services
Thousands of doctors from across Rajasthan gathered and took out a foot march in Jaipur. The foot march started from SMS Medical College around 11 am, going through Gokhale Hostel Marg, Information Center Tonk Road, Maharani College Tiraha, Ashok Marg, Rajput Sabha Bhavan, Panch Batti, MI Road, Ajmeri Gate, New Gate, Albert Hall, Went back and finished after reaching the medical college. During this, around 2 lakh doctors walked 4.5 km.
Docs to shun services at govt run hospitals
The situation may get tense on Wednesday as 14000 doctors of govt run hospitals under All Rajasthan In Service Doctor Association (ARISDA) will shun healthcare services boycotting the work. As of now, they are boycotting work for only two hours.
According to the spokesperson, Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Chitresh Shekhawat, “Resident doctors will continue with their strike. Our strike will go on until the RTH BiII is completely withdrawn by the state government.”
Why are doctors protesting?
The strike and protest is against the recently passed Right to Health Bill. The Right to Health Bill was passed in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on March 21 amidst all the protests.
As per the bill, every resident of the state has the right to emergency treatment and care ‘without prepayment of requisite fee or charges’ by any public health institution, health care establishment (including private ones) and appointed health care centers.
It specifies a ‘health care establishment’ as the whole or any part of a public or private institution, facility, building or place operated to provide health care. If a patient does not pay the charges after emergency care, stabilization and referral, the government will compensate the health care provider.
Protesting doctors of private institutions say this legislation of the government is shirking its responsibility of improving medical care in the state. Rather than making the quality of services in government medical centers better, the Right to Health Act will bring down the private hospitals and clinics to the level of government ones.
All the talks with government in vain
Reportedly, the government officials held a meeting with a delegation of private hospital doctors on 26 March, Sunday. They assured doctors of an elaborate discussion on their suggestions over the proposed law.
The protesting doctors demanded the withdrawal of the bill which they reasoned was ‘unconstitutional’ and will increase bureaucratic interference in the functioning of private hospitals.
The secretary of the Private Hospital and Nursing Home Society, Dr Vijay Kapoor said, “Any discussion will be possible only after the bill is withdrawn. For this, we want a written assurance. Until that happens, neither this movement will stop nor will there be further talks.”