Published: 21st January 2023
Rajasthan: MBBS doctors brave cold wave, continue hunger strike for hike in gov't medical posts
The health condition of the four students on hunger strike has deteriorated, informed Dr Vinod Bagra, who is leading the protest
MBBS doctors in Rajasthan reach the third day of their fast-unto-death protest today, January 21, demanding a hike in the number of posts for the Medical Officer Recruitment exam from 1,765 to 4,500. The health condition of the four students on hunger strike has deteriorated, informed Dr Vinod Bagra, President of the All Rajasthan MBBS Doctors' Association (ARMDA), who is leading the protest.
"They are down with fever due to the cold wave in the state, and the students' condition was such that they needed to be admitted to a hospital. But the fellow doctors who are sitting along with them in support treated them," Dr Bagra said in a statement. Meanwhile, videos and pictures of the protest are being widely circulated on social media. However, the government has not yet responded, Dr Bagra says.
The demand for an increase in the number of government medical posts rises due to the fact that there has been no such hike in the last two years, whereas there are thousands of employed doctors in the state. In addition, several doctors' positions are vacant, especially in rural areas, which can be filled if the number of recruits is escalated.
The protesting young MBBS doctors have garnered huge support from the medical fraternity across the country. Today, FAIMA (Federation of All India Medical Association) drafted a letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, requesting him to intervene and fulfil the doctors' demand. "The posts should be increased to 4,500 so that the vacant posts in the medical department can be filled. Regular doctors could be appointed and this step would be taken in the public interest," a part of the letter reads.
The letter further mentions that the Rajasthan government has previously brought out various commendable flagship programmes related to the healthcare sector, which necessitates the government to consider the present demand, as increasing the posts is the need of the hour for the healthcare infrastructure.
Dr Bagra highlights that previously, representatives from ARMDA met the chief minister and other government officials seven to eight times, but they were only given oral assurances that the posts would be increased. Now, the doctors demand that the seats should be immediately increased and the government should issue an official statement in this regard. Unless this is done, the doctors will continue the strike.