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Doctors to strike work today to protest proposed panchayat control

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Jamshedpur, Nov. 6: Doctors are against the state government’s decision to empower mukhiyas and zilla parishad chairpersons with the right to sanction leaves for medicos, including civil surgeons. As a result, about 70 doctors will observe one-day token strike against the proposed move.

An official of IMA, Jamshedpur unit, said that such decision by the state government is unwanted and insulting for the medical fraternity.  He said if the state government does not revoke the decision then all the doctors posted in government hospitals and primary health centers across the state will resign en masse.

Authorities at two of the biggest state health centers in Jamshedpur, MGM Medical College and Hospital (Sakchi) and Sadar Hospital (Khasmahal), have expressed their vulnerability to make alternative arrangement for functioning of the OPDs.

MGM Hospital superintendent Dr. R. Y. Choudhary said that the emergency unit will function tomorrow, but the OPDs will remain closed as the junior doctors will also be going on mass leave tomorrow. They cannot make arrangements for functioning of the OPDs. However, any patients can undergo treatment at emergency.

The doctors said the government’s decision is unjust and it will become a tool for panchayats and zila parishads to exploit doctors and health workers. “Doctors, auxiliary nurses, midwives and other health workers will be subjected to exploitation by village and district-level politics. The efficiency and independence of the health machinery will be reduced,” a doctor said on the condition of anonymity.

He pointed out that the government doctors are gazetted officers and in this respect they enjoy the privileges of official like the deputy commissioner, additional deputy commissioner, deputy development commissioner and sub-divisional officers, who are also gazetted officers and come under the jurisdiction of a mukhiya in one way or the other, and hence the same rule should be applicable to all the gazetted officers other than doctors.

IMA secretary Mrityunjay Singh said the state Cabinet should have taken the doctors’ fraternity into confidence while passing the decision.

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