4th day of doctors’ strike: Nitin Patel says demands not valid, they’re no longer resident docs

Nitin Patel, who also holds the Health portfolio, said at the sidelines of an event in Gandhinagar, that resident doctors on strike are not resident doctors as their exams have been completed and have received their degree and thus their “illegal demands are not valid”.

A day after government medical college authorities in Vadodara and Jamnagar issued notices to resident and intern doctors on strike curtailing their access to hostels, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel reiterated that their “illegal demands are not valid” as they are no longer resident doctors but rather specialist doctors.

Patel, who also holds the Health portfolio, said at the sidelines of an event in Gandhinagar, that resident doctors on strike are not resident doctors as their exams have been completed and have received their degree and thus their “illegal demands are not valid”.

“As per their bond conditions, they are to be posted at CHC or district hospitals etc in the state, where they are needed so that poor and middle classes can be treated. They are not going there where they are needed, they are violating conditions of the bond and carrying out an illegal strike putting patients in distress. I am thus appealing that they leave this strike and serve as doctors where they are posted and understand their responsibility and fulfill their duties,” Patel said while adding that those unwilling to serve the mandatory rural tenure as part of their bond condition, can pay Rs 40 lakh to exit the bond.

Over 2,000 resident doctors of six medical colleges are continuing on the fourth day of strike in Gujarat with their primary demand being medical bond duty be considered in the ratio of 1:2, that is one day of service be counted equivalent to service of two days in this period of the pandemic, as was implemented by the state government during the Covid-19 but was revoked on July 31.

Meanwhile Congress MP for Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to show his support towards the striking doctors’ demand. “Gujarat Govt extended junior docs’ post-gad period by 3 months to fight Covid, promising that 1 month of duty would be considered 2 months of service. It broke its promise and tried to intimidate protesting docs. Shocked and disappointed: this is no way to treat our Covid heroes!” (sic)

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