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‘Join work or face expulsion’

Join duty by 2 pm on Saturday or you will be expelled, read notices pasted on bulletin boards across city medical colleges.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2009 00:43 IST

Join duty by 2 pm on Saturday or you will be expelled, read notices pasted on bulletin boards across city medical colleges.

The government refused to talk to state hospital junior doctors, who have been on strike since Tuesday evening demanding a pay hike.

The notice, issued under clause 10 of the State Residency Scheme, said resident doctors who remain absent without permission or take part in any strike will be expelled from the college after due notice.

“We are ready to draw up a solution once they call off the strike. Because they refused, we have initiated disciplinary action,” said Bhushan Gagrani, secretary, medical education.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court directed the state government to issue a statement explaining what action it has proposed against the striking doctors.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by NGO Jan Manch that demanded expulsion of doctors on strike. But the doctors are adamant.

“We will not relent this time, even if they expel us,” said Dr Jeevan Rajput, president of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors.

The 4,500-strong doctors’ union is demanding an over 130 per cent increase in their stipend, better working conditions and security.

By Wednesday, about 3,500 intern doctors joined the strike.

The worst hit are patients. Caught between the state and the doctors, they have been suffering for the last four days. Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of KEM hospital, said they were discharging indoor patients.

“We have 607 patients against a regular number of 1,800. Only 350 patients were treated, usually there are 5,500. Doctors from the Indian Medical Association have offered to help us,” Oak added.

Surat resident Ambalal Manoj Solanki (68) has been lying on a bench opposite the casualty ward of Sion hospital for the last three days with his grandson Paresh (11).

“He is a diabetic and has an injury on his foot which is critical. He hasn’t got any medication for the last three days,” said Paresh.

Chembur resident Sanjay Salvi (37) alleged that no one has attended his father Tukaram (70), who has been admitted to JJ hospital for a heart ailment.

“No doctor has seen him for three days,” alleged Salvi.

At St George’s hospital, there was speculation about three deaths because of doctors not attending to patients. But no complaints have been filed.

The hospital authorities too have denied the allegations.