With state government’s patience running thin over the five-day strike by nearly 4,500 resident doctors in Maharashtra, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday warned of legal action if they failed to resume work today after his meeting with their representatives.
He said he will discuss the issue with the doctors on Friday afternoon.
Fadnavis lambasted the doctors for being ‘adamant’ and ‘insensitive’ towards patients.
“Enough is enough. Now, the government can’t sit quiet. We cannot leave patients to die. Despite accepting all the demands, the doctors are not ready to withdraw their strike. They are forcing us to take a harsh step,” Fadnavis said in the legislative assembly.
In the last ditch effort to break the deadlock, he said he will hold a final meeting with representatives of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), a lobby group.
“I will along with medical education minister Girish Mahajan and public health minister Dr Deepak Sawant will again request them to call off the strike immediately as the government has accepted all demands,” said Fadnavis.
“Even after that, if they do not resume the duty, the state government will initiate legal action against them,” Fadnavis said.
Security has been already provided in 16hospitals since yesterday.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) March 24, 2017
Govt is working;more arrangements will be made in 10days:CM @Dev_Fadnavis
He indicated that the government is considering to file cases for medical negligence against the doctors.
Mahajan also warned the medical practitioners to call off the strike.
“They have taken in writing from us that we are accepting their ten demands which include providing 1,100 security guards. These guards will be hired from private agencies run by former police officials at a salary of Rs 20,000 each. The government has sanctioned Rs 33 crore for the purpose,” news agency PTI quoted Mahajan as saying.
During Fadnavis’ statement, Sena and BJP legislators trooped to the well of the house and demanded strict action against the doctors. This prompted the speaker to adjourn the house twice. The Opposition lawmakers benches were empty as they had boycotted the house over the suspension of their 19 MLAs.
The CM on Thursday assured the agitating doctors to provide enhanced security at all government hospitals. The government also promised to provide free legal aid and medical help to doctors in assault cases.
On the same day, the Bombay high court directed them to tend to patients immediately and asked the Maharashtra government to provide adequate security at all government hospitals. It also asked the government and the civic body to withdraw show-cause notices issues to the striking doctors.