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Rajasthan doctors call off strike after 50 die

Jaipur: Rajasthan doctors called off their strike on Tuesday evening after “positive” talks with the government. The doctors, who have been on strike for the past three days, said their demands had been accepted.

Ajay Malviya, president of the Rajasthan Doctors’ Association, said: “The government has unconditionally accepted our demands. We will call the general body meeting and call off the strike.”

He added that the doctors would be back at work in half and hour.

The doctors’ key demand was the suspension of the police officers who allegedly lathicharged medicos at the MDM College in Jodhpur on Saturday. Over 60 students and doctors were injured in the incident.

Resident doctors said the police lathicharged them following a minor scuffle among a few doctors and attendants of a patient. Some doctors were also arrested but later released.

The strike across the state claimed the lives of 50 patients, 31 in Jodhpur alone. The doctors had earlier demanded a meeting with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to discuss the issue.

The government had also been working on a contingency plan to tackle the situation and said over 300 medical officers would be deputed at affected hospitals if the doctors did not call off strike.

Union Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi also requested the doctors to come back to work. “I appeal to the doctors with folded hands to come back to work. I have also spoken to Rajasthan Chief Minister and he said he’s trying his best to control the situation. If needed I am ready to personally go and meet these doctors,” Trivedi had appealed.

Trivedi also warned that action would be taken if the doctors don’t join work soon.

“There are many laws that the state government has at its disposal that it should use if it comes to that. I would suggest the MCI to take action against these doctors who cause death by negligence. It should even consider de-recognising their degrees,” he said.

Almost 3,500 resident doctors in all the six government medical colleges and its attached hospitals in Rajasthan were on strike, but Jodhpur was the worst hit.

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