Resident Doctors in Maharashtra Set to Strike Indefinitely Over Demands for Better Conditions
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI
New Delhi: Around 450 resident doctors from B J Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital in Pune, alongside their colleagues across Maharashtra, are poised to embark on an indefinite strike starting Wednesday, February 7. According to The Indian Express, this action aims to push for improved hostel accommodations, a stipend hike, and the clearance of outstanding arrears.
Dr Nikhil Gattani, president of the Maharashtra Resident Association of Doctors (MARD) at B J Government Medical College, emphasised the dire need for better living conditions, stating to The Indian Express, "The hostel accommodation is inadequate. Residents are forced to live in compromised conditions, with overcrowding becoming the norm."
Among the demands is the implementation of stipend payments equivalent to those in central government institutes. Dr. Abhijeet Helge, president of the state unit of MARD, highlighted the frustration, "We have pursued these issues through various channels for over a year without any resolution."
“The junior resident doctors at BJMC and Sassoon General Hospital will be forced to embark on an indefinite strike since our demands have not been satisfied,” MARD added in an official statement.
The discontent stems partly from unfulfilled promises made by the Maharashtra government following a strike held in January last year. Dr. Gattani lamented the disparity in stipend rates, noting that despite Maharashtra's robust financial status, resident doctors receive significantly lower stipends than their counterparts in other states.
The strike is expected to impact outpatient services in government hospitals statewide, although emergency services will remain operational. In a statement, MARD expressed regret for the inconvenience to patients but stressed the urgency of their demands.
Dr. Vinayak Kale, dean of B J Government Medical College and Sassoon Hospital, expressed optimism regarding government responsiveness, saying, “We do have our alternate arrangements. Associate and assistant professors and other teachers will manage the OPD. If the strike continues longer, then it is likely that services may be partially hampered,” Dr Kale said.
The protesting resident doctors, in their statement, have apologised for the inconvenience that would be caused to patients in the wake of the strike.
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