The three-day-old strike by resident doctors, medical teachers and students in Rajasthan was called off on Tuesday after an agreement between the State authorities and the striking doctors' associations in Jodhpur. The strike, provoked by alleged police brutality on resident doctors in Jodhpur on Saturday night in the wake of a confrontation between doctors and relatives of patients, reportedly claimed 32 lives in three main hospitals in that city in three days.
Additional Divisional Commissioner Govind Singh Charan said in Jodhpur that the demand of the striking doctors to remove the Additional District Magistrate (City) and Additional SP (City) had been carried out. “Almost all the doctors have returned to duty in the afternoon itself following the agreement,” he said.
The talks were held at the official residence of the Divisional Commissioner of Jodhpurin the presence of Inspector-General of Police Bhupendra Kumar Dak, SP (City) Mahesh Goyal, the then Collector Naveen Mahajan and Arvind Mathur, Head of Medicine, Jodhpur Medical College, besides members of the agitation committee.
The strike had crippled the medical sector in Rajasthan, already grappling with H1N1 cases as the medical fraternity in Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner and Kota joined their colleagues in Jodhpur in strike. Fourteen patients reportedly died in Jodhpur on the first day, 16 on the second day and two on the third day of the strike, though officials claim that these figures could be exaggerated.
Of late reports of clashes between doctors and relatives of patients reaching emergency wards in Government-run hospitals have become common in Rajasthan. The Jodhpur incident was reportedly triggered off when relatives of patients manhandled the doctors and when the doctors retaliated the police beat them up.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed his happiness over the withdrawal of strike. “It was an unfortunate phase, and it is over now,” he said.
Mr. Gehlot expressed concern over what all happened during the strike period. “The growing number of cases of conflict between resident doctors and the relatives of patients is an area of concern,” he said.
He asked the patients and their relatives to have “faith” in young doctors and at the same time advised the doctors to be “more sensitive” in dealing with patients.