Resident doctors in govt hospitals to go on strike from Jan 2
The doctors have said they will only continue to do emergency duties after this because the government has not fulfilled several of their long-standing demands including creating new posts for senior residents
Mumbai Senior resident doctors from all across the state and junior resident doctors from BMC-run hospitals have declared to go on strike from January 2. However, the doctors have said they will only continue to do emergency duties after this because the government has not fulfilled several of their long-standing demands including creating new posts for senior residents, dearness allowance in accordance to the seventh pay commission, payment of covid service arrears and proper accommodation facilities for all resident doctors.
Junior resident doctors are those finishing their postgraduate degrees in government medical colleges, while senior resident doctors are those who have finished their postgraduate studies and are serving the compulsory one-year bond at government hospitals.
The Maharashtra Association of Residents Doctors (MARD) which consists of junior resident doctors announced that junior resident doctors attached to Cooper Hospital, KEM Hospital, Nair Hospital and Sion Hospital will withdraw from non-emergency duties from Monday if their demand are not fulfilled. Similarly, Maharashtra Association of Bonded Resident Doctors (MABARD) said they will also join the MARD strike for their own issues.
The doctors say they have met officials from the state government’s medical education department as well as those from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) multiple times but their issues have not been taken seriously. MABARD representatives had met the officials on Wednesday after which the DMER issued a directive to all colleges to release arrears of dearness allowance as per the fifth pay commission recommendations to junior residents, and as per the sixth pay commission recommendations to the seniors.
“The resident doctors in other BMC-run medical colleges got covid service remuneration uptill September, but those in Nair Hospital were only paid this till January 2022. None of us have been paid dearness allowance as part of our salaries despite the GR on this issue being issued on July 1, 2018,” said BMC MARD general secretary Dr Chetan Adrat. From 8am of Monday, the junior residents at BMC-run hospitals would not be reporting to duty at OPDs, OTs and only attend to emergencies, he added.
MABARD president Dr Pranav Jadhav said more than 1400 doctors from all government medical colleges in Maharashtra will be joining this strike as well. “One of our big issues is that many assistant professor posts go vacant even as the senior residents are told to join the colleges on the post of tutors. This is a problem given that the post is not even recognised for medical professionals by the National Medical Commission,” he said.
Many doctors who have completed their bond as tutors, he added, end up not getting any jobs because of not having an assistant professor experience. These doctors need to then spend extra years working in Maharashtra to get the necessary experience to move back to their home states, said Dr Jadhav.
Both the junior residents and senior residents say that many of their representations have been made to several government officials at state and BMC level, but they only end up getting assurances.
An official from the state government said that the medical education department has made these demands of the resident doctors known to the government, even in the middle of the ongoing winter assembly of the state legislature in Nagpur. “We will try to talk to the doctors during the weekend, and try to resolve the issues amicably to avoid a strike,” he said.
• Implementation of dearness allowance, and arrears in it since a GR in this regard was issued in 2018
• Payment of eight months of covid service arrears of junior residents of Nair Hospital
• Adequate hostel facilities
• Creation of 1432 additional resident doctors’ posts in government medical colleges in the state
• Filling vacancies of assistant professors and associate professors to overcome shortage of teaching faculties at government medical colleges
• Equal pay to all senior resident doctors in the state
• Give senior residents the post of assistant professors instead of tutors