Rajasthan doctors in continuation of the protest against the recently passed Right to Health Bill carried out a rally in the state's capital Jaipur on Monday. Medical services across the city are being poorly affected.
The bill was passed last week by the Ashok-Gehlot-led Congress government despite protests by the opposition BJP. The health minister of the state Parsadi Lal Meena on Monday said that the government won't be taking back the bill at any cost and the protesting doctors are taking "undue advantage" of the situation. He informed that the government is open to discussion on the bill but will not be taking it back as it shall benefit the public.
On Monday, the doctors took out a foot march from SMS Medical College at around 11 a.m. The rally passed through several areas of the city to eventually gather at the medical college, covering a distance of 4.5 km. A day earlier on Sunday, a meeting of the doctors' delegation was held with Chief Secretary Usha Sharma but the discussion reportedly saw no fruitful end.
As per the provisions of the controversial bill, every resident of the state can avail of free and affordable in-patient and out-patient healthcare services from both public and private hospitals, laboratories and clinics. As per the protesting side, the execution of the bill is an act of overregulation of medical institutions and is hastily prepared. It can lead to overburdening of private hospitals and facilities.
Reportedly, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has informed that over 50,000 medical and paramedical staff took to the streets of Jaipur to press their demand of the government to withdraw the new bill that was passed in the state assembly last week.
Amid the protest that has been going on for a week now, patients and residents of the state are at the receiving end. Reportedly, due to the shutting down of private healthcare facilities, the patient load has increased in government hospitals that are getting more than usual admissions.
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Resident doctors are still on strike in hospitals attached to government medical colleges in Jaipur and other cities of the state. Many have joined the rally in protest. Reportedly, many operations in the hospitals have been suspended and tests are being delayed. As per reports, there is also an increasing patient load in emergency wards of government hospitals as private facilities are refusing to take up emergency cases.
Reportedly, Monday was observed as a 'Black Day' by the IMA which had announced a nationwide protest against the bill and to show solidarity with the doctors protesting in Rajasthan. As of now, both the state government and the protesting doctors are not ready to take their steps back.