Maharashtra Resident Doctors to Begin Strike; OPD Service May Get Affected
The Maharashtra State Resident Doctors Association (MARD) has declared a strike for an indefinite period from February 7 at 5 p.m. Around 450 resident doctors from B. J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital had indicated a strike, demanding better hostel accommodation, a hike in stipend, and clearance of arrears.
However, the state-wide strike by the doctors is likely to impact outpatient services significantly. However, the protesting doctors have assured of keeping the emergency services operational during the strike.
Dr. Nikhil Gattani, who is president of the B. J. Government Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, a unit of MARD, stated that the hostel residents are forced to live in inadequate conditions.
Dr. Gattani added that overcrowding has become the norm here. Senior and junior resident doctors should have better facilities under National Medical Commission guidelines.
Moreover, the resident doctors have also requested to clear out the pending stipends and arrears as per the current date. The demand also entails regularizing the stipend by guaranteeing payment by the 10th of every month.
MARD in the official release outlined, “We would like to stress that we have been pursuing these issues for more than a year through several channels, including the Central MARD, without success”.
It also added that 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.
The association’s office-bearers stated in the statement that the resident doctors in the state have been receiving significantly lower stipends than compared to their counterparts in other states.
The protesting doctors have apologized for the anticipated inconvenience to the patients.
Dr. Kale Vinayak, the dean of B.J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, said that they do have alternate plans and arrangements for it. The association and assistant professor will manage the OPD. If the strike continues for long, then it is likely to hamper the services more.
(Input from various sources)