Chhattisgarh doctors to continue strike despite ESMA

June 26th, 2008 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, June 26 (IANS) About 300 doctors of Chhattisgarh’s biggest public hospital here said Thursday they would not end their strike although the government has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to force them back to work. Narendra Narsing, chief of the Junior Doctors’ Association, told reporters here that the doctors would resign en masse rather than succumbing to threats of the ESMA.

About 300 junior doctors of the 700-bed Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Hospital are continuing their indefinite strike since June 21. They are demanding a hike in stipends.

“The government held discussion with a delegation of the striking doctors June 23 to break the deadlock but they are adamant. This forced us to invoke ESMA Wednesday evening,” Health Minister Amar Agrawal said.

Several senior doctors too have gone on leave to avoid patients’ rush due to the junior doctors’ strike. Very few doctors are available to attend to the patients and the nurses are providing them temporary relief. The hospital treats about 400 new patients a day on an average.

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