The Maharashtra government on Saturday sacked 3,500 resident doctors on strike for the past five days and served notices seeking cancellation of their registration in postgraduate courses, officials said.
"We have initiated the necessary proceedings to terminate the registration of the doctors. It will be done through the respective colleges and universities to which they are affiliated," Maharashtra Higher Education Minister Rajesh Tope told IANS.
Department of Medical Education and Research Secretary Bhushan Gajrani said that all the agitating doctors will be asked to vacate their hostels and fresh advertisements will be issued to fill up the posts.
The spokesperson of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), which is leading the agitation, that all the doctors have individually and collectively been served notices seeking cancellation of their registration around 5 pm by their colleges.
"However, MARD is not going to be cowed down by these pressure tactics. We have decided to continue our agitation till our long-pending demands are accepted by the state government," said Akash Khobragade.
The developments follow a deadlock in the third round of talks between the government and MARD Saturday.
At the meeting, Khobragade said the government offered a nominal hike of Rs. ,000 per month to the doctors, subject to approval of the state finance department.
The doctors rejected the proposal since it came without a proper approval, he said.
The medicos are demanding a hike in their stipend in keeping with the growing expenditure on medical education and to make it on par with other central government medical colleges, MARD president Jivan Rajput said.
"Resident doctors in the state get only Rs 15,000, while our counterparts in New Delhi get Rs 52,000 per month and in other states the stipend allowance is around Rs 45,000 per month," Rajput told IANS.
He said that under the Central Residency Scheme, all doctors have equal responsibilities, rights, status and same examinations; so there should not be any discrimination in their stipends.
The government Friday had warned the agitating doctors to report to duty by 2 pm Saturday or face harsh punitive measures.
The MARD strike has severely disrupted medical services in 14 state-run medical colleges and hospitals across the state and three in Mumbai.
Several other medical and paramedical associations, including the interns association in medical colleges, joined the strike while many others have announced plans to strike work in support of MARD.
The strike has proved to be a harrowing experience for patients and their relatives, especially those who cannot afford private medicare.