The Patna High Court on Monday directed the Paramedical workers and doctors to call off their strike and discharge their respective duties. Patna HC directed paramedical staff to dissolve the strike and return to duty and also directed to the junior doctors of Bihar not to proceed on strike, warning that any violation would “only tantamount to aggravation of contempt”.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar were informed by the Advocate General that one Association of Para Medical Employees has already restored to strike and following suit, the doctors have also threatened to go on strike. It was reported that while paramedical employees were under National Health Mission (NHM), in the state had struck work since Sunday, junior doctors including those at AIIMS Patna and state-run medical colleges, had threatened to boycott work indefinitely from August 27 over their respective demands.
The bench expressed the view that as per the current situation and circumstances which are prevailing these days, none of the functionaries empowered and authorized under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 can refrain from discharging their duties and functions, “more so by resorting to the mechanism of strike which perhaps may be illegal”.
It was observed by the judges that the doctors and paramedical staff are constitutionally duty bound, even so on humanitarian grounds, to protect and preserve human life.
The medical staffs are duty bound to extend the medical services for common good of the public. Failure on their part to provide timely medical treatment in the need of the hour would result in violation of right to life. This was held by the SC long ago.
The bench on Monday, also issued notice in this behalf to the Bihar State Contractual Health Employees Federation and Junior Doctors Association, through the Director, Health Department, Government of Bihar, Patna. The court further fixed August 26 as the next date of hearing on the case.