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The Bombay High court on Wednesday asked the striking doctors all over Maharashtra to return to work failing which they asked the state government to take appropriate action against the residential doctors. The High Court feels that the government has done enough for redressal of their grievances.
The striking resident doctors, under the banner of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) claim that they re not on strike but a mass bunk . Because of the strike, operations in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra have been stalled and patients are being deeply inconvenienced.
If the docs don t return to work they are likely to be booked under MSEMA. The state has informed the doctors that they have 24 hours to return to service or they will be booked under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) which is a very strict law under the central Essential Services Maintenance Act that bars people who provide essential services like transport and healthcare from going on strike. Tomorrow being a public holiday, we will wait till April 25. If the doctors don t resume duty, we ll invoke the act against them, state medical and education minister Dr Vijaykumar Gavit said yesterday. There s also some concern that the striking doctors could be expelled from their institutes. The MARD have been on strike from 8AM on Tuesday after talks with Gavit failed to reach any conclusion about the rise in doctors stipends.
What do the MARD want?
The state residential doctors association has several demands. They are basically:
The first bone of contention is the non-implementation of the stipend doctors are entitled to every three years. Basically, every three years residential doctors salaries are supposed to be increased because of rising service costs and other factors. However, the stipend hike didn t come in 2012. Currently, residential doctors are paid a paltry Rs 6000 in government hospitals and they want it to be hiked to Rs 15600. Also though this is a compulsory bond service for all doctors who ve been educated in Maharashtra, the work experience isn t counted when they sit for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam. They want this experience to be on par with to the experience of an assistant professor in a medical college. They are also aghast at the recent spate of attacks on doctors in government hospitals by aggrieved patients families and they want CCTV cameras in every hospital along with better-armed and more security guards to prevent the violence.
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