Mumbai doctors call off nationwide strike
Mumbai doctors called off a one-day strike planned for Monday following a deal to increase junior physicians' pay and improve security.india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 15:00 IST
Mumbai doctors called off a one-day strike planned for Monday following a deal to increase junior physicians' pay and improve security against physical attacks.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) said it would not ask its 185,000 members nationwide to strike after an agreement was reached on Friday to end a 12-day strike by medics in Maharashtra.
The pay will increase sharply from the basic Rs 8,000 a month under the deal, bringing it towards pay levels of junior doctors in other parts of the country.
Health officials have also promised to improve security arrangements at under-funded government hospitals, said Sanjiv Malik, president of the Indian Medical Association.
He said the group was seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure better protection for doctors in hospitals across the country.
"The government has more or less met the demands of the doctors so we will not like to call an all India bandh," he said.
According to a 2005 World Health Organisation report, India has less than one hospital bed and one physician per 1,000 people.
The WHO said India spent $1,568 US per head of population on healthcare in 2002, compared with $7,248 in Thailand, the top spender in the region.