Maharashtra: Resident docs’ body threatens to hit the roads in protest

Mumbai: The Central Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has threatened a statewide agitation if their long-pending demands are not met before December 20. “We have written a letter to the chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, informing him we will stage a ‘rasta roko’ agitation statewide if our long-standing demands for a stipend hike, TB leave, maternity leave and other demands are not fulfilled before December 20,” said a senior doctor. This move comes after the state government failed to fulfil the demands of doctors which have been pending for the last six months.The Central MARD is an association representing the 4,500 resident doctors of the state.

Their letter states, “We have joined this profession because somewhere in our heart, we have the passion to serve. Had it not been there, we would not have opted for this profession. Nobody wants to go on an agitation by choice and harass the masses. But it is the government, which, by not showing courage to resolve issues raised by us, creates the necessity for agitation.” For the last six months, Central MARD has communicated its demands to the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and the medical education minister, without any results.

According to Dr Lokeshkumar Chirwatkar, president of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), the basic demands for increasing security, installation of alarm systems in every hospital ward, a pass system for patients’ relatives and other key demands are still not fulfilled. “Despite the rising incidence of attacks on doctors, the pass and alarm system have still not been implemented in government-run medical colleges in Mumbai, Akola, Aurangabad, Nagpur, and Latur. There are very few security guards in the medical colleges. The govt should pay attention to this,” said Dr Chirwatkar.

Key demands of MARD
Implementation of basic security measures promised by the Maha government after the mass leave agitation of March 2017. The pass system needs to be corrected and implemented properly,for doctors’ safety. Despite a promise made six months ago, no effective alarm system has been set up in the Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy (JJ), Akola and Aurangabad hospitals, IGMC Nagpur, GMC Nagpur, GMC Latur, etc.

The Bombay High court directive to set up a high-power committee to look after the problems of resident doctors yet to be implemented. No meeting held in the past one year Maternity leave, TB leave (doctors who contract tuberculosis on the job need time off to obtain treatment and recuperate) Stipend hike — currently, they are paid Rs 6,000 a month, which is considerably lesser than what their counterparts receive in other states. It wants a 40 per cent hike in pay.

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