After the death of nine children in the last 24 hours, doctors in government hospitals of Telangana districts called off their strike on Monday as the state government agreed to their three major demands, including providing round-the-clock security at hospitals.
The doctors have been demanding security because of increased attacks on them and medical staff by patients' relatives.
The government came forward to talk to the striking doctors following public furore after nine babies died at Niloufer hospital, the premier pediatric hospital in Hyderabad, on Sunday.
PV Ramesh, principal health secretary, announced after the talks that the personnel of the Special Protection Force (SPF) would be deployed at Niloufer hospital from Tuesday.
He announced that a panel would go into the other demand for similar security measures at other teaching hospitals in Hyderabad and Warangal and make recommendations to improve the security situation there.
He also announced that a committee comprising the staff of teaching hospitals and the health officials would chalk out an annual action plan to improve services in the hospitals.
The junior doctors at four hospitals in Hyderabad and MGM Hospital in Warangal have been on strike since last two weeks, more particularly after government withdrew the SPF force deployed at Niloufer hospital; for the past one year. The agitation intensified on Saturday night after the doctors refused to attend emergency cases.
The striking medicos faced flak for the death of nine babies at Niloufer hospital, allegedly due to lack of care. But the doctors denied that the deaths had anything to do with the strike and that even in the normal course such deaths occur daily because infants are brought from various parts of the state in critical stages.
"Niloufer is an advanced tertiary hospital. About 100 to 150 newborn babies are admitted to the hospital every day and 10 to 15 of them die," one doctor said.