Maharashtra Resident Doctors Call For Indefinite Strike From Feb 22; Say OPD Won’t Be Affected

Last Updated: February 20, 2024, 09:58 IST

MARD expressed disappointment over their demands not being fulfilled even after two weeks of their previous strike. (Representative Image)

The strike is a result of the resident doctors’ unresolved issues and unfulfilled demand in connection with their living conditions, stipend and arrears

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors Central (MARD) will go on a statewide indefinite strike from 5 pm on February 22. Notably, the emergency services will remain operational to ensure provision of essential medical care to the people during the strike.

The strike announcement comes as the result of unfulfilled demands and unresolved issues in connection with the living and working conditions of resident doctors. This will be their second strike of 2024.

Earlier this month, MARD announced an indefinite strike from February 7. Around 450 resident doctors from BJ Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital called for the strike, making their demands for better accommodation, hike in stipend and arrears clearance.

The protesting doctors had ensured that the emergency services will be functional during the strike.

President of BJ Government Medical College unit of MARD, Dr Nikhil Gattani, noted that “overcrowding” has become a norm in the hostel accommodation. “Senior and junior resident doctors should have better facilities under National Medical Commission guidelines,” Dr Gattani was quoted as saying by the Mint.

As many as 4,000 resident doctors form the backbone of public medical colleges and hospitals, Times of India reported.

In a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Minister of Medical Education Hasan Mushrif, the issues of funding for repairs and renovation in hostel, regularising stipend payment along with the release of pending arrears and a hike in the stipend amount, were discussed.

“Despite our efforts to engage with the authorities and their assurances on February 7, unfortunately, the promises made to address the genuine concerns of resident doctors remain unfulfilled even after two weeks,” ToI quoted MARD representatives as saying in a statement.

Though several medical institutions have been inaugurated and the enrolment capacity has increased, the appropriate arrangements for the rising student population has failed, junior resident doctors noted.

In the past nine years, the figures in medical colleges have risen from 16 to 25, and are aimed to go up to a total of 29.

“Our aim is not to disrupt services, but to ensure that the authorities fulfil their responsibilities towards resident doctors, who play a significant role in the healthcare system,” a MARD representative said.

The resident doctors’ body has urged the government to address their demands and take necessary steps to ensure the fulfilment of the same, within a given timeframe.

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