Mumbai: Resident doctors' association call off strike after minister's assurance

The doctors had gone on strike on Monday demanding hostel facilities and payment of COVID-19 pandemic arrears that have been pending for over a year.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Wednesday, January 04, 2023, 10:38 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) called off its strike on Tuesday, which had hit the healthcare system in the state, following the intervention of Maharashtra's Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan.

The doctors had gone on strike on Monday demanding hostel facilities and payment of COVID-19 pandemic arrears that have been pending for over a year.

"We had a meeting with Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan and he assured us that 1,432 seats for senior resident would be created across the state on a priority basis. Funds will be released at the earliest for hostel renovation and new infrastructure for accommodation for resident doctors in medical colleges. We then decided to call off the strike,” said resume our services," central MARD president Dr Avinash Dahiphale.

The minister has assured the doctors that their demands would be met in two-three days, said Dr Sachin Pattiwar, president, KEM MARD. “He has told us that our demands will be met in the two or three days and he has also assured us a meeting with the Chief Minister,” Dr Pattiwar said.

Outpatient departments (OPDs) at all civic-run hospitals were crippled because of the strike, forcing patients to wait for hours or return without being treated. Hundreds of elective surgeries were postponed at the civic-run hospitals on the second day of the strike on Tuesday. Many patients were discharged and asked to come once the doctors are back on duty.

“About 27 surgeries were performed at JJ hospital. On a routine day, this figure goes up to 80. The situation is the same in civic-run medical colleges and hospitals. Very few patients have been operated upon on an emergency basis, while others discharged and asked to come later when the strike is called off. It's not all about expertise. You need manpower while performing surgeries,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity.

"Patients who were given a date for appendix surgery are now been informed to come next week or 10 days later. We are only providing emergency services and also looking after those patients who are critical and admitted earlier. We can't put anyone's life at risk,” said one resident doctor at Cooper Hospital, Juhu.

Mr Mahajan said that there was a positive discussion, following which the doctors called off the strike.

“Accommodation is the biggest issue for doctors in Mard. At present there are 10,000 rooms, but they are not enough. The ones that are there need to be repaired urgently. The bathrooms are leaking in many places and the rooms also need to be repaired. Slabs have collapsed at some places. In this regard, instructions have been given to the departments and authorities concerned to carry out immediate repairs,” he said.

“There are vacancies that will be filled in the next two days. We will also discuss these issues with the BMC,” he 

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