The situation is expected to get worse as the ongoing demonstrations by doctors in Rajasthan against the Right to Health (RTH) Bill reach their ninth day, with even government hospitals joining the strike tomorrow.
The Sawai Man Singh hospital’s doctors have declared that they will join the walkout beginning on March 29, Wednesday. However, they stated that the ICU and emergency facilities would continue to operate.
This development raises the possibility of a complete collapse of the state’s healthcare infrastructure.
Dr. Parsadi Lal Meena, the state’s health minister, made it clear that the Ashok Gehlot administration would not, under any conditions, withdraw the Right to Health (RTH) Bill, despite the fact that doctors in Rajasthan had launched a protracted campaign of protest against it.
Meena presented the government’s position on Monday, saying they were willing to have a discussion if there were any problems with the bill but reiterating that it would not be changed at any expense.
Meena claimed that the RTH bill was passed after careful consideration and has already benefited the state’s citizens. She then accused the protesting physicians of taking advantage of the situation. The Health Minister emphasised that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had urged the protesting doctors to return to work and that the government had complied with all of their requests.
Meena also emphasised that the bill was examined by a select committee before being passed and reassured that, if the protests continue, the government will hire additional physicians and take the necessary action.
According to CM Gehlot, the measure addresses the interests of the doctors, so their agitation is unwarranted.
In Rajasthan, private medical practises and hospitals have protested the RTH bill by refusing to treat patients and urging the state government not to implement it.
To express their requests, the protesting doctors organised a sizable rally on Monday in Jaipur.
They have been in protest for nine days now, which has had an effect on the state’s health services, and neither party is giving in.
Every citizen of the state will have the right to emergency care and treatment “without prepayment” at any “public health institution, health care establishment, and designated health care centers,” in accordance with the Bill approved by the Assembly last week. This would also apply to private organisations.
The doctors contend that the bill has transferred responsibility to private hospitals rather than improving government healthcare services, which could cause a decline in the quality standards presently upheld by these private institutions.