The agitating junior doctors of Bihar on Saturday called off their 12-day strike over stipend following intervention of the Indian Medical Association and Bihar State Health Services Association.
They have decided to strike work again if the state government failed to enhance their stipend in next 15 days.
The junior doctors had struck work primarily demanding enhancement of monthly stipend from Rs 13,000 to Rs 25,000 as per the agreement reached earlier between the government and the Junior Doctors Association (JDA).
The decision to call off strike was taken after senior IMA and BSHSA members negotiated with the agitating doctors at a meeting on the PMCH campus. Members of the JDA, IMA and BSHSA agreed on a common programme under which it was decided to defer the strike for next 15 days to give ample time to the government to consider the demands. The IMA and BSHSA also agreed to support their agitation, if the government failed to fulfill their demands.
“The junior doctors will return to work from zero hour on Saturday. We have deferred the agitation following an assurance from the government through IMA and BHSHA that our demands would be fulfilled. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also assured to consider our demands favourably,” JDA president Dr Dhanajay Kumar said.
“The ball is now in government’s court. We have followed the instructions and, now it is their turn to settle our genuine demands,” he said.
BSHSA convenor Dr Ajay Kumar told HT that the medical fraternity was hopeful that the government would soon notify payment of Rs 25,000 stipend to junior doctors from retrospective effect and implement the residency scheme on central pattern after getting the recommendations of a committee already set up by the government.
The IMA and BSHSA also appealed to the government and the State Human Rights Commission not to initiate legal action against the agitating students.
The functioning of the PMCH and DMCH was partially paralysed during the strike period leading to death of nearly 100 patients. The strike has prompted exodus of patients from the hospitals.
Worried over the deaths in the two medical colleges, the State Human Rights commission had asked the state government to lodge an FIR and begin legal action against striking junior doctors and cancel their registration if they refused to call off their agitation immediately.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also expressed serious concern over the strike and said that the government would favourably consider their demand only when the junior doctors returned to work.
Those present at the meeting include IMA, Bihar president Dr Ramesh Prasad Singh, secretary Dr Ashok Kumar Yadav, former state IMA chief Dr Basant Singh, former IMA secretary Dr Arun Kumar Thakur, Dr D K Choudhary, BSHSA president Dr Ram Nagina Prasad Singh, its convenor Dr Ajay Kumar, Dr Kumar Arun, Dr Ranjit Kumar, JDA president Dr Dhananjay Kumar, Dr Kamlesh, Dr Naqui Imam and others.