Jaipur, Dec 19 : Even as the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday directed the in-service doctors of the state to resume work by Wednesday or face suspension, a national body of resident doctors has extended full support to their protesting colleagues.
The Federation of Resident Doctors Association of India (FORDA India) has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting immediate intervention in the matter.
Speaking to IANS, FORDA India General Secretary Dr.
Manish Nigam said: "Let us all see how a government can force its doctors to work at knife point and on a tip of lathi.
The autocratic attitude of the government is intolerable."
It was completely unjustified to ask doctors to work on a pay-scale of the Fifth Pay Commission under pathetic working conditions, he said.
"If the government can't think good for doctors, why should doctors come back to work? What can be harsher than the doctors being sent behind bars for peacefully raising their demands?"
Nigam said: "Let the government send all doctors behind bars.
No doctors from other states will come to serve the patients. And yes, one fine day, there will be no doctors working in the state if the government continues with such an autocratic regime."
Even if the government chose to cancel doctors' licence, they would support the in-service doctors who were fighting a justified fight, he added.
On the other hand, the Rajasthan High Court came out strictly against the doctors on strike and directed them to resume work by Wednesday or else they would face suspension.
The high court also issued directions to the state government to ensure that those joining duty should not be arrested while those evading duties should be dealt with sternly.
The health services in Rajasthan have come to a grinding halt, as the doctors working with the state government went on a strike to press for their demands on Saturday.
The next court hearing is scheduled for January 3, 2018.
In its letter to the Prime Minister, the FORDA India has complained about the "step-motherly treatment" being meted out to the doctors.
"Dragging doctors out of their homes and arresting them is an act to curb the demands (voice) of the oppressed," it said and condemned the arrest of doctors under the veil of the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA).
"We expect the government to act in a judicious manner and settle the demands at the earliest," the letter said.
Bearing the signature of FORDA India President Dr.
Vivek Chouksey, the letter warned the government of stronger agitation if the arrest of doctors was not stopped.
Tuesday was the fourth day of the doctors' absence from their work stations.
Three people are said to have died in the state due to unavailability of timely medical aid.
The plight of patients in villages is worse as there are only a few private doctors available there.
Even in the cities, the government has requested the BSF, army and the railway doctors to help in the time of "emergency".