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Cong asks Nitish Kumar to intervene as doctors’ strike hits health services

After former chief minister and president of the Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) Jitan Ram Manjhi’s appeal, the Congress party too asked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to intervene and end the junior doctors’ strike that entered its seventh day on Tuesday.

The health services in all the nine medical colleges and hospitals across the state continued to be badly hit due to the strike.

About 1,000 junior doctors are demanding a raise in monthly stipend for PG courses to Rs 80,000, Rs 85,000 and Rs 90,000 in the first, second and third year respectively. At present, the junior doctors get monthly stipends of Rs 50,000, Rs 55,000 and Rs 60,000 respectively.

The Junior Doctors Association (JDA), Bihar claims that the government while revising the stipends on May 9, 2017, had agreed for a revision every three years.

While justifying the demand of the junior doctors, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Madan Mohan Jha said the inflation rate had risen exorbitantly during the NDA regime, so the doctors demand was reasonable seeing the rising expenses.

“Nitish Kumar should get a study conducted of the stipend paid to junior doctors in neighbouring states and pay them accordingly. The state government should take urgent steps to end the strike, because of which thousands of people have been suffering,” Jha said.

Manjhi on Monday had appealed to the chief minister and health minister Mangal Pandey to intervene and end the strike of junior doctors.

Meanwhile at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), patients have vacated most of the wards, while many, in absence of enough financial resources, preferred to stay outside the hospital buildings. The patients complained that the claim of the state government that senior doctors would take charge seems to be false.

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