Gujarat Nephrology Association ends strike, awaits govt response

Gandhinagar, Aug 18: The Gujarat Nephrology Association (GNA) on Thursday called off its strike, which was initiated on August 14 in response to the inequities observed in dialysis rates within the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).

The association has taken this decision while awaiting an official response from the state government regarding the resolution of their concerns.

However, a spokesperson from the association has indicated that they might contemplate withdrawing from the coverage offered by PMJAY, if the state government fails to adequately address their demands.

Dr. Jigar Srimali, representing the GNA, disclosed that their grievances have not been acknowledged by government health authorities and no meetings have been convened on the matter so far.

Dr. Srimali emphasised, “We are resuming our services temporarily to prevent any inconvenience to the patients. Nevertheless, we will be monitoring the government’s response over the next week. If the situation remains unresolved, the possibility of disassociating from PMJAY remains. We are also exploring potential legal avenues.”

It is noteworthy that private nephrologists operate across more than 60 centers that have been established by the government.

During the three-day protest, which spanned from August 14 to 16, dialysis services provided under the PMJAY were temporarily suspended. The protest aimed to address a range of issues, including the reduction of the dialysis rate from Rs 2,300 to Rs 1,950, a change that came into effect on July 11.

The association is advocating for a revised dialysis rate of Rs 2,500, of which Rs 300 will be designated as a transport allowance for patients. This rate structure encompasses Rs 1,500 for the dialysis procedure and Rs 700 to cover medication and injection expenses. According to the GNA, over the course of the three-day strike, more than 4,000 free dialysis sessions were administered within the private sector as an interim measure.