Ranchi: Doctors in Jharkhand who were appointed on contract went on strike from Tuesday demanding regularisation of their services.
Around 2,000 doctors were appointed three years ago on contract. Their contract is due to end this March. They are now demanding that their job be regularised.
Representatives of these doctors held a meeting with state Chief Secretary M.K. Mandal on Monday, but they failed to reach any agreement.
The doctors decided to go on strike from Tuesday. 'We want the state government to regularise our services. We have made several representations to the state government but nothing was done,' said Bimlesh Singh, president Jharkhand Contract Doctors Association (JCDA). 'If the state government does not come out with a concrete proposal in our favour, then the medical services in the state will face a big problem.'
The chief secretary had told the doctors that their contract would be renewed for another year, but their services would not be regularised. 'We cannot accept the offer of the chief secretary. We will stick to our demand and continue our strike,' said Singh.
The state government had adopted the contract system to improve medical facilities in the state. The regular doctors do not go to hospitals and primary health centres located in rural areas.
Reacting to the demand by contract doctors, Health Minister Hemendra Pratap Shahi said: 'Thousands of Indian doctors are working on contract in Britain and the US. What is wrong if we appoint doctors on contract basis to improve medical facilities.'