Junior doctors’ strike to hit hospital services
About 4,500 junior doctors from state- and civic-run hospitals across the state have gone on an indefinite strike from Tuesday evening. They are demanding a revision in payscales.india Updated: Jul 08, 2009 01:26 IST
About 4,500 junior doctors from state- and civic-run hospitals across the state have gone on an indefinite strike from Tuesday evening. They are demanding a revision in payscales.
The resident doctors, postgraduate students who also help run outpatient services and surgeries, have alleged that their proposal for salary hike has been gathering dust in government offices.
The doctors are paid Rs 15,000 a month. That is less than what their counterparts elsewhere in the country get, said the striking doctors.
“Despite an eight-hour official duty, we work 24 hours. While treating patients, doctors have developed life-threatening ailments like tuberculosis,” said Dr Anil Dudbhate, president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors. “Yet, neither are we paid well nor do we get medical insurance or leave.”
The doctors are also demanding medical insurance, security from mob attacks, better accommodation facilities and maternity leave for women doctors.
Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research Dr WB Tayade, however, called the strike a ‘premature response’.
“The state health ministry has asked for time. The proposal has to be sent to the Finance Department and details are being worked out,” said Dr Tayade.
He said the strike would not affect services at hospitals. “All senior teachers will take over, no services will be cancelled.”
Deans of medical colleges had a different story to tell.
“With 700 doctors on strike, we can only manage emergency cases, not function normally,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of KEM Hospital.
Senior medical teachers have called for a meeting on Wednesday. “We will discuss how we can extend support to the doctors,” said Dr Rajesh Dere, secretary, Senior Medical Teachers’ Association, Sion hospital.