Himachal HC seeks report on striking doctors

Shimla, Aug 24 (IANS) Taking serious note of the strike by doctors in the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital here, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday directed the state government to file a status report in this regard by Tuesday.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan asked the government to provide information whether all government hospitals in the state were functioning and the doctors were performing their duties.

The bench passed these orders on an e-mail received from advocate Anup Kumar, who expressed concern over the strike at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, saying that patients were suffering due to the strike.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP also asked the government to look into the issues of doctors seriously.

The Bharatiya Janata Party slammed the state government for not making serious efforts to resolve the issues of doctors, who went on mass casual leave on Monday as part of their ongoing strike and asked Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to intervene in public interest.

Moving the calling attention motion in the assembly, former health minister and BJP member Rajiv Bindal said the apparent differences between the chief minister and the health minister were sending out wrong signals and the health department and the public were suffering owing to this.

Bindal said thousands of patients were suffering because of the strike and the government remained indifferent to the issue, despite the doctors’ association having given proper notice for the strike.

The former minister said the issue of security raised by the doctors was an important matter.

“If a doctor is beaten up by the patient or his attendants and a case is not registered against the culprits, then what kind of system is it? There is an act to ensure security of doctors but it has to be implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.

Bindal said the salary of doctors was high in the private sector and the government should also consider a comparable raise.

Replying to the calling attention motion, Health Minister Kaul Singh said the doctors were on not strike, but on a symbolic protest over certain issues. He said emergency services were in place across the state.

“The government is committed to sort out the issue with doctors through dialogue. We have already tried it and have called the Himachal Pradesh Medical Officers Association again for talks in evening,” he said.

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