The Himachal Pradesh High Court directed the state government to file an affidavit within 10 days stating the steps taken by it to check frequent strikes by doctors of state-run hospitals. Hearing a petition filed by one Devinder Negi, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary said effective steps will be taken to prevent strikes by interns and doctors.
The court said while all genuine demands will be accepted, the ones disagreeable will be refused with an iron fist. The bench further directed the state to formulate a dispute redressal mechanism in which a committee of senior officials will hear out the demands by Resident Doctors Association. Meanwhile, doctors have been asked to submit their copy of demands to the Principal of Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) and the Principal Secretary of Health. Both would then have to take a decision within a period of six weeks.
The court also ordered the period of internship to be increased to as many days the intern goes on strike. According to court’s order, the interns would be deprived of all facilities to which they are entitled during the period of strike, including the stipend payable to them. The court also directed the state government not to hesitate in applying the provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), if a patient in need of immediate medical attention is deprived of treatment.
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