Maharashtra resident doctors to go on strike from today; OPD services may remain affected

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Maharashtra: ‘Better hostel accommodation, hike in stipend, and clearance of arrears’, about 450 resident doctors from BJ Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital in Pune will press for their demands and go on an indefinite strike from today, February 7. 

The state-wide strike is likely to affect outpatient services at government hospitals. However, the protestors have assured that emergency services will remain operational during the strike, according to media reports. 

Dr Nikhil Gattani, president of B J Government Medical College unit of Maharashtra Resident Association of Doctors (MARD) said that the hostel residents are forced to live in inadequate conditions. 

“Overcrowding has become the norm here. Senior and junior resident doctors should have better facilities under National Medical Commission guidelines,” said Dr. Gattani. 

The resident doctors have requested that unpaid stipends and arrears be paid up to the current date, in addition to regularizing stipends and guaranteeing payment by the 10th of each month.

In an official statement, MARD said, “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.”

“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. 

The MARD office-bearers said that resident doctors in Maharashtra receive significantly lower stipends as compared to their counterparts in other states, despite being one of the financially strongest states with a high cost of living, the report said. 

“We do have other plans in place. The OPD will be overseen by associate and assistant professors as well as other educators. Services could likely be somewhat hindered if the strike lasts longer,” said Dr Vinayak Kale, dean of B J Government Medical College and Sassoon Hospital.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 07:50 AM IST

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