Mumbai: Nearly 4,000 doctors across Maharashtra have gone on an indefinite strike from Thursday in support of their various demands, a move that is likely to affect medical services in public hospitals in the city and elsewhere.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has a charter of 10 demands, MARD president Dr Sagar Mundada said. "We have been asking the government to take our security seriously from the last 5 years, but nothing has happened. A patient dies and doctors are assaulted," he said.
"We are also demanding that the government make us sign bonds to serve the department in which we have done our specialisation. For instance, If I have done my MD in psychiatry, I should be made to compulsorily serve in the same department. Working in some other department as a casualty medical officer equals to playing with a patient's life," Mundada said.
State Education Minister Vinod Tawde, who met a delegation of MARD, said the government is "positive" towards their demands and appealed to the doctors to call of the strike.
"I had an interactive discussion with representatives of MARD to resolve the long pending issues that doctors have been facing. Our discussion focussed on doctors' security concerns, CCTV cameras installing and facilities given to
doctors in hospitals. I have assured them of a positive outcome," Tawde said.
"I have earnestly appealed MARD doctors to be mindful of the well-being of people and avoid calling a strike. The government is positively approaching their demands," he said.
However, Mundada said discussions with the government have borne no fruit as there have been no written assurances given to them by Tawde. "Before meeting Tawde sir yesterday, we had met him even on June 12. At that time also he said the government is positive. These are mere words spoken every time we talk of going on strike. But we have never been given a written and a time-bound assurance by the government," he said.