Doctors pad up for strike

A two-day strike called by doctors demanding rationalisation of salary might cripple basic health services across the state for the next 48 hours.

Around 4,000 government doctors associated with primary health centres, additional primary health centres and district and referral hospitals have vowed to go on the strike called by Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA). Indian Medical Association (IMA) has extended support to the strike and 80 per cent doctors of the six government hospitals are affiliated to the association.

The only ray of hope for the patients in cases of emergency is these government hospitals, including Patna Medical College and Hospital and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in the capital, as the government has pledged to keep alternative arrangements ready in these health hubs.

"Patients can visit all six government hospitals in case of any emergency. We will monitor the conditions at the primary health centres, the district and referral hospitals and the additional primary health centres and keep tabs on the number of doctors going on the strike," said R.P. Ojha, the additional secretary-cum-spokesperson of the health department.

"Our ambulance services will be ready round-the-clock to help patients in cases of emergency. We have also asked civil surgeons and collectors of all districts to monitor the situation in areas under their respective jurisdictions. We are also mulling the option of seeking services of private practitioners to treat emergency cases. The health department has formed committees to look into the agitating doctors' demands," he added.

Dr Ranjit Kumar, the spokesperson of BHSA, said: "One of our main demands is that the state should bring salary of its doctors on a par with their central counterparts. Life saving drugs should be made available to all government hospitals and we want security. If the government does not meet our demands, we will go on an indefinite strike from February 14."

Dr A.K. Thakur, the president of the IMA's state chapter, said: "Our organisation supports supports the BHSA strike and many of our members will stay away from work on January 15 and 16. The patients might not find doctors in the outpatient departments of the government hospitals. We have, however, kept emergency services out of the strike's purview."

Dr Sunil Keshri, who is associated with the Raghopur primary health centre, said: "We receive around 300 delivery- and injury-related cases. Obviously, patients will suffer because of the strike. But we are helpless. I am a regular doctor, but I can understand the agony of those on contract. Despite serving for years, they get lesser salary than us."

He added: "There are 9,000 sanctioned posts of doctors in the government hospitals, but only 3,500 doctors are working. The salary of contractual doctors is also lesser than their counterparts in other states. In Haryana and Gujarat, a contractual doctor gets around Rs 55,000 a month. In Bihar, the amount is Rs 30,000."

A PMCH doctor said: "The primary health centres and the referral hospitals would receive many emergency cases, which would be referred to government hospitals."

Talks were on till late in the evening between the health department officials and the agitating doctors to call off the strike.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kohli wins the toss and puts Delhi into bat. Chris Gayle MISSES OUT!!! More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »