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  • Haresh Parshuram Yetal

Resident Doctors observed a four-day long strike in Maharashtra from October 1 over several issues

The Maharashtra State Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) observed a statewide strike in Maharashtra from October 1. This strike was called over several demands including special allowance for services rendered during the pandemic. The strike lasted for four days and was called off on October 4 after a meeting with chief minister. The strike impacted various patient care services in the government and state-run hospitals across the state. However, the emergency medical services remained unaffected during this strike.

The strike had begun from 8 am on October 1 across the state of Maharashtra. The demands of resident doctors included waiver of tuition fees for postgraduate medical students, Covid incentives and better hostel facilities at government-run medical colleges, etc. Around 5000 resident doctors associated with government medical colleges and hospitals (GMCH) across the state had participated in this strike. The outpatient department (OPD) services and vaccination drives were affected due to this agitation. Also no optional or elective surgery did not take place at the government and state-run hospitals. However, the emergency medical services, emergency services like disaster relief, etc. were carried out normally during the strike period.

MARD representatives further informed that the association had put forward their demands five months before and the association was continuously following up with the concerned authorities since then. But government neither took any action on their demands nor gave written assurance to the association. After waiting for several months the decision to go on an indefinite strike was taken. The members of MARD had initially decided to observe the strike until a written assurance is received from the concerned government authorities. On the first day of the strike, a meeting was scheduled at 11.30 am with the higher authorities at the ministry. But the meeting conceived no positive results and the strike continued further.

On October 4, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with members of MARD. The meeting concluded successfully following which the doctors called off their strike. In the meeting the doctors were assured a special allowance for the COVID duties and better upkeep of the hostels. But the other primary demands were put forward for deliberations. Doctors resumed their duties immediately after their demands were partially accepted.

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