Maharashtra: Resident Doctors To Go On Indefinite Strike From Feb 22 As Govt Has Not Yet Complied Their Demands

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In protest that the state government has not yet complied with their numerous demands, which include a rise in their stipend and improved housing facilities, resident physicians at Maharashtra’s government medical institutions have opted to embark on an indefinite strike starting on February 22.

In a formal statement released on February 19, the Central MARD (Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors) declared that an indefinite strike would start at 5 p.m. on February 22.

Dr Abhijit Helge, president of MARD confirmed that emergency duties will be maintained during the strike period as an essential measure.

On February 7, a minimum of 8,000 resident physicians around the state organised an ongoing walkout, calling for improved dorm accommodations, a rise in their stipend, and the repayment of outstanding debts.

However, resident doctors had temporarily put an end to their agitation after receiving promises on the matter from Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and others.

The official statement read: “As a collective voice of resident doctors across the state, we are compelled to announce a significant decision in response to the unmet promises made by the government. Despite our constructive engagement with the authorities and their assurances, regrettably, the commitments made to address the genuine concerns of resident doctors remain unfulfilled even after two weeks.”

The deputy chief minister and State Minister of Medical Education Hasan Mushrif met and discussed the promises, which include the immediate grant of necessary funds for hostel repairs and construction, regularisation of stipend payments with release of pending stipends and arrears, and a hike of INR 10,000 in stipend.

In the statement they said, “However, the delay in executing these promises has left us with no choice but to take decisive action to safeguard our rights… We reiterate that patient care is our utmost priority… Our intention is not to disrupt services but to ensure that the authorities fulfil their obligations towards resident doctors, who are the backbone of the healthcare system.”

MARD has asked the government to respond to their requests as soon as possible and within the allotted period.

The message went on, “If we don’t succeed in doing this, we will have no choice but to go on strike until justice is done.”