Jaipur: While the State Assembly passed the controversial Right to Health Act, the doctors in Rajasthan are continuing their protest against the Act by observing a complete shutdown in the State.
Now the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has given a call for All India Protest Day on March 27, 2023 in support of the protesting doctors in Rajasthan.
Announcing its decision for observing Black Day, IMA has demanded to withdraw the anti people Right to Health Act in Rajasthan and also to stop atrocities on striking doctors.
Expressing solidarity with the protesting doctors in Rajasthan, IMA mentioned in a Tweet, “People’s health is Government’s responsibility.”
Meanwhile, confirming that the medical fraternity in Rajasthan are observing a complete shutdown, the State Convener of United Private Clinics and Hospitals’ Association in Rajasthan (UPCHAR), Dr. Raj Shekhar Yadav told Medical Dialogues, “The private healthcare sector in Rajasthan are observing complete shutdown and it is 100% successful. However, the entire medical fraternity across the country should take note of this because now it has only been implemented in Rajasthan. However, soon other States will start implementing this for getting more votes. So, this is not the matter of concern only for the doctors in Rajasthan but the entire medical fraternity across India should be concerned about this.”
Urging the doctors across the country to come forward and support the protesting doctors in Rajasthan, Dr. Yadav further added, “I will urge all the doctors across the country to read this Act and there should be no doubt that in the coming years this will get implemented in other States also. So, we request them to understand our problem and come forward in our support.”
The doctors belonging to private hospitals in Rajasthan have been protesting against the proposed “Right to Health” bill for the last few months. While the Bill was proposed by the Rajasthan Government to ensure that the residents of the State can avail treatment at any hospital, it made the medical fraternity in the State furious as they termed it to be draconian and illogical. Several Clauses of the bill have been pointed out by the doctors under Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Society (PHNHS) and Jaipur Medical Association as they claimed that it lacks clarity and wants to delimit the powers of doctors.
Referring to the Bill that aims to ensure the rights of the patient for availing quality healthcare, the doctors have mainly objected to the clauses that requires that patients will be treated for any medical emergency free of cost at both private and government hospitals. The doctors pointed out that the State has not defined what is an emergency and how the cost of such medical expenses will be reimbursed to the private doctors and hospitals.
Apart from this, the doctors under the Jaipur branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also opposed a specific clause of the bill that talks about setting up a separate grievance redressal committee for addressing the complaints by patients.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that as a symbol of protest against the Bill, the doctors had decided to march towards the State Assembly on Monday. However, police used force and lathi charge to stop the doctors from reaching the assembly, where the bill is scheduled to be tabled. This enraged the entire medical fraternity. Previously while speaking to Medical Dialogues, the president of Jaipur Medical Association had mentioned that government doctors also decided to support the protesting doctors and further decisions would be taken after a meeting by the government doctors.
Later, the entire medical fraternity in the State including the government medical college doctors and resident doctors announced for a complete shutdown of medical services for the first time in History. Amid all this, the bill got passed in the Assembly on Tuesday.
However, the doctors are not ready to accept defeat and they are continuing their protest against the controversial Health Act demanding the withdrawal of the same. As a part of the protest, yesterday the lady doctors had led a rally while raising slogans against the Right to Health Act.
Now Indian Medical Association (IMA) has come forward and expressing solidarity with the protesting doctors in Rajasthan, IMA has announced its decision of observing All India Protest Day on March 27.
IMA has directed all states and branches to observe black day by wearing badges, meet district authorities and submit memorandum to be forwarded to the Union and Rajasthan Ministries. Further, IMA has directed its branches to hold urgent GB/ executive and pass resolution supporting IMA Rajasthan and opposing the controversial RTH Act. All the doctors under the association have been directed to join the National protest meeting online on March 27, 2023.
Commenting on the matter, Dr. Karan Juneja, IMA JDN National Standing committee member told Medical Dialogues, “We are in full support of the protesting doctors in Rajasthan. The State Government should withdraw the anti people Right to Health Act immediately.”
Addressing the RTH Act, Dr. Raj Shekhar Yadav, the State Convener of UPCHAR added, “Right to Health Bill has been draft in haste. From the bill, it seems that the Government has failed in fulfilling its responsibility and now it is shifting the same on the private hospitals and doctors. If this bill gets implemented in Rajasthan, almost every patient will come to the private hospitals claiming emergency. The patients will not be liable to pay money and the government will reimburse the money later.”
“Government has not specified about its way of reimbursing the money and even if it reimburses it later, the private sector will not be able to even meet its expenses. Already the private hospitals are overburdened and they will not be able to bear this additional burden and it is almost certain that several hospitals will be forced to shut down. The Private healthcare sector will be completely finished. It is just a matter of a few months,” he further added.