Services at the city’s public hospitals continued to be affected for the seventh consecutive day as talks between striking resident doctors and state officials failed again.
Over 3,100 resident doctors, from 18 government and civic hospitals in the state, have been on strike since July 7, demanding a pay hike. The state served termination notices to them on Saturday.
Representatives of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) and officials from the Medical Education Department have had discussions several times over the past week but have not been able to reach a consensus.
While the state is offering a pay hike of Rs 5,000-6,000 that will increase the salaries to 20,000 to 22,000, the doctors are demanding a minimum salary of Rs 30,000.
“The negotiations did not reach any conclusion again. We can’t offer a more than Rs 6,000 hike and the doctors are not willing to settle for less than Rs 8,000,” said Joint Director Of Medical Education Dr Pravin Shingare on Monday.
MARD President Dr Jeevan Rajput said they would not resume work till their demands are met. “The hike is important to us because we will not even benefit from the Sixth Pay Commission as we are postgraduate students,” he said.
While the city’s resident doctors have not been asked to leave their hostels, their counterparts in Nanded and Aurangabad were thrown out.
The expelled doctors have found unique ways of registering their protest. KEM Hos-pital’s resident doctors became chaiwallas and polished shoes to “earn a living”.
At Nair Hospital, 63 residents donated their blood to show that they cared for patients. Around 60 doctors from Bombay Hospital observed a token strike to support MARD. Meanwhile, a PIL was filed in the high court calling for a “ban” on the on-going strike.