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Doctors strike hits health services in HP

Male Doctor Hand Abstract with Lab Coat and Stethoscope.

Shimla:The health services were badly hit and OPDs virtually remained non-functional across Himachal Pradesh as doctors of government hospitals went on a mass casual leave today to protest against “inadequate security” and demanding that “misbehaviour with doctors be made a non-bailable offence”.

The resident doctors also expressed solidarity with the agitating doctors and only emergency services were functioning.

Hundreds of patients, who reached the hospitals, were a harassed lot as only skeletal staff was present.

Doctors had given an ultimatum to the government following alleged misbehaviour with a doctor at a government hospital in Bilaspur. Later, the talks with Health Minister Kaul Singh failed on the issue of making the misbehaviour with doctors a non-bailable offence as the matter pertained to the Law department.

Himachal Pradesh BJP held the government responsible for doctor’s strike which caused great hardship to patients.

Had the government been sensitive and addressed the grievances of the doctors, this situation would have been avoided, it said.

“The state government failed to provide healthy working environment and address the security concerns of the doctors and there was spurt in incidents of misbehaviour with doctors and they took the extreme step,” chief spokesman of state BJP Rajiv Bindal said.

“The demand of the doctors to make misbehaviour with doctors on duty a non-bailable offence was not considered seriously and the chief minister did not ordered any enquiry in the incident which lowered the morale off the doctors,” he added.

The state committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also extended support to the doctors and said, “It supports the mode of struggle adopted by them.”

“The doctors are working under difficult conditions but the insensitive government did not recognise this fact and doctors community was being humiliated and physically attacked but the chief minister refused even to express sympathy with the victim doctor at Bilaspur,” a party release issued here said.

“This is nothing but Mafia rule which is being justified by the highest political authority in the state and there cannot be a more shameful situation than this,” it added.