Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Nearly 3,000 junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh on Monday struck work, barring COVID-19 duties, to press for their demands, including free treatment for them and their families if they contract the coronavirus infection.
MP Junior Doctors Association president Arvind Meena said members were abstaining from work at the Out Patient Departments (OPDs), the In-Patient Departments (IPDs) and other wards of various health care facilities.
"If the written orders (complying with the demands) are not released by this evening, then we would be compelled to withdraw from COVID-19 duties across the state from June 1," he said.
They have demanded that beds for junior doctors serving COVID-19 patients be reserved in separate areas in case they contract the infection, he said.
They have demanded of 24 per cent hike in stipend and 6 per cent annual hike in stipend among others. They have boycotted emergency and routine check-ups.
Last week, they had threatened to go an indefinite strike but did not get positive response from government.
Earlier, state medical education minister Vishvas Sarang had assured to accept their demands but no written order was issued. Irked over lack of response by state medical education department, Junior Doctors’ Association decided to strike work.
JUDA president Dr Arvind Mina said government only gives assurance. No written order has been issued for increase in stipend. “We are on an indefinite strike from June 1 and will also not work in Covid wards,” he added. Strike will be observed in all the government medical college hospitals in Madhya Pradesh.
"Treatment should be free for such doctors as well as their kin. We also need a hike in stipend," Meena said. He said their association comprises around 3,000 members from six medical colleges in the state.
Earlier, the junior doctors went on a strike on May 6, but resumed a few hours later after the state government assured them that their demands would be met.
"While the state government promised 24 days ago that our demands would be met, nothing has moved since, Meena claimed and demanded that the government release a written order fulfilling their demands.
(With inputs from Agencies)