Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Nearly 16,000 government doctors across Madhya Pradesh went off-duty for two hours on Thursday morning to protest what they called "bureaucratic interference in their work and promotions" and threatened to go on an indefinite strike from Friday if their demands are not met.
In capital Bhopal, protests were held at Gandhi Medical College (GMC), where doctors protested by offering their medical kits in 'havan kund'.
The doctors from state-run medical colleges, hospitals and primary health centres struck work between 10 am and 12 noon, said a doctor's body leading the agitation.
MP Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang could not be immediately contacted as he was busy with a function. State Health Minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary also couldn't be reached despite repeated calls.
"Even junior doctors and those in other government hospitals have joined us. Around 16,000 government doctors across the state joined our 2-hour work-abstaining move," Dr Avinash Thakur, general secretary of the Medical Teachers' Association in Bhopal, said.
'MP only state not following DACP'
According to the protesting doctors, bureaucrats often prevail upon them to operate and treat patients according to their wishes.
"If things do not improve, we are going to abstain from work from tomorrow," he said.
Thakur said that they also want the implementation of an all-India doctor promotion policy in the state.
"MP is the only state in the country that is not following the Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP) Scheme meant for government doctors' promotions," Thakur said.
Another doctor said, "We are facing too much interference. They are meddling in our day-to-day functioning."
Indefinite strike from February 17
As per the data released from CM Review meeting on March 6, 2021, 856 posts are vacant out of 2,814 sanctioned posts in 13 medical colleges. Jabalpur Medical College has the highest number of vacant posts at 96, followed by Chhindwara with 92 and Shahdol with 89. Bhopal’s GMC has the lowest- 37 vacant posts.
Rakesh Malviya, President of the MP Medical Teachers Association said during the protest, “As the government has not fulfilled our demands, all the doctors are going on an indefinite strike from February 17 and the entire responsibility is on the government because they forced us to protest.”
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)