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JDA starts indefinite strike, patients suffer

A DAY after token strike, the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) of Indore began their indefinite strike today to protest the police action on doctors who were agitating against the proposal for the OBC quota in elite educational institutions. Services at the MY Hospital, affected due to token strike yesterday, continued to be out of gear for the second consecutive day today.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 14:41 IST

A DAY after token strike, the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) of Indore began their indefinite strike today to protest the police action on doctors who were agitating against the proposal for the OBC quota in elite educational institutions.
Services at the MY Hospital, affected due to token strike yesterday, continued to be out of gear for the second consecutive day today.

The JDA had yesterday gone on a token strike as part of the nation wide call given by the national JDA. State JDA general secretary Dr Anand Rai and Dr Mohit Bhandari said that the decision for going on an indefinite strike was taken after convening an extraordinary meeting of the association late yesterday evening.

The city doctors associated with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) wore black bands to work today and would take out a rally attended by those sharing their opinion against reservation from Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Hospital (MYH) premise at 9.30 pm tomorrow.

After much deliberation on the issue, 98 per cent of the rank and file of the JDA irrespective of class and caste will join the agitation.

The campaign against the high handedness of the government in introducing legislations without securing a consensual mandate intensified on the second consecutive day of the strike.

Slogans were raised and placards shown by agitators at the MYH premise in the morning, a sit-in was staged at the gates of the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College (MGM) and pamphlets were distributed at all major intersections of the city.
Meanwhile, services continued to deteriorate at MYH, the biggest government hospital in the State where junior doctors carry out most of the routine activities.

All major surgeries were cancelled yesterday in view of the token strike which was only for 24-hour period. Though the MYH administration knew about the strike well in advance they failed to take steps to avoid inconvenience to the patients, leaving people guessing what the outcome would be when it continues for an indefinite period.

MGM Dean Dr VK Saini said that arrangements were being made to face all situations arising out of the strike so that the patients do not suffer.

He had written to the Joint Director Health Services and Chief Medical Health Officer seeking necessary assistance in the form of doctors and staff they could spare from their departments. A letter on this matter had been dispatched to both concerned officials today. The college was also taking steps in its purview by attaching services of 20 Doctors serving as
demonstrators in non-clinical subjects.

Saini had also taken up correspondence with senior doctors working in the capacity of consultants who were on leave during their vacation period.

The doctors go on leave when the college is closed during summer holidays from May-June, with half going on leave during the first month and the other half during the second month. He has intimated them that if the strike continues for a longer period then they would have to rejoin services on Monday.

The college administration is keeping a eye on the situation. The most vocal criticism of reservation came from IMA, which called for a change in the basic concept by introducing it on monetary basis rather than caste basis.

The pamphlets distributed today echoed the sentiments of the IMA on the issue. The public has been asked why an elected government in a democratic country was being allowed to follow the ‘divide and rule policy’ (a legacy of the colonial past), why it was being increased even after 56-years of independence, why it was not reviewed every 10-years as envisaged by the constitution makers and had it failed to achieve it objectives?

Students from all government and private medical/engineering/technical colleges, economically backward people from the higher castes (general category) and the public empathising with their cause would attend the rally tomorrow. The future course of action would be decided on the basis of response of the government towards tomorrows rally.

First Published: May 18, 2006 14:41 IST