Jharkhand’s doctors on contract go on strike

May 26th, 2008 - 3:12 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, May 26 (IANS) Nearly 600 doctors employed with the Jharkhand government on contract struck work Monday demanding preference in an appointment drive. The strike affected health services in villages. “In the last seven years the state government has virtually done nothing to improve the health facilities in the state. The doctors who are working for the last five years on contract are not given preference in regular appointment. We were only given assurances by the health minister,” said Bimlesh Siongh, president of the Jharkhand Contractual Doctors Association (JCDA).

He also threatened mass resignations of the doctors if they were not given preference in the appointments.

The state unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has announced the regular doctors would go on leave May 31 in support of the demand of the doctors on contract.

Health Minister Bhanu Pratap Sahi said: “We have taken the strike seriously. We accepted the demand of a hike in their salary and 10-number preference will be given to contractual doctors in appointments.”

He, however, also threatened to terminate the services of the doctors if they continued with the strike.

The strike comes when the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) has initiated the process to appoint more than 1,000 doctors.

The doctors on contract want exemption from the written examination and demand direct interviews. The state government says they must appear in the examination though they would be given 10 marks more.

The doctors had gone on strike earlier too demanding regularision of their jobs and salary hikes.

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