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Mumbai: State-run hospitals bear brunt of doctors’ strike

Updated on: 24 February,2024 07:03 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

Resident doctors said they were promised a resolution by Dy CM Ajit Pawar in two days last time; resumed strike when promise wasn’t kept

Mumbai: State-run hospitals bear brunt of doctors’ strike

Resident doctors protest against living conditions

Key Highlights

  1. The state-wide strike by MARD has disrupted medical services at government hospitals
  2. At JJ Hospital, senior faculty members have had to fill in for absent resident doctors
  3. There is a primary demand of increase and revamp of hostel facilities

The state-wide strike by Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has disrupted medical services at government hospitals. At the city's JJ Hospital, authorities said senior faculty members have had to fill in for absent resident doctors. 

There is a primary demand of increase and revamp of hostel facilities in the state to accommodate increasing enrolment at medical colleges. "Doctors are living in subhuman conditions after working long shifts, which are almost round-the-clock. One small room has more than five people, and there are frequent leakages in the monsoon. Residents need adequate sleep themselves to provide better patient services," said Dr Abhijit Helge, president, Central MARD.

The strike is not at short notice as the residents have sent a total of 28 letters to ministers and bureaucrats asking for an increase in the number of hostels and repair work on existing facilities. Moreover, just earlier this month, the residents had called off the strike after Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had assured them of a resolution within two days. "We waited for more than a week before we stopped work. We do not wish to be on strike but we are forced to do so."

At JJ, there were a total of 1,842 patients who visited the OPD and 64 visited the in-patient department. The hospital authorities said the residents were present for emergency services. The other demand that the residents have is an increase in stipend by Rs 10,000, taking their total remuneration to Rs 90,000. 

"There is a need to increase the number of hostels but everything cannot happen at short notice. The residents have been publicly given assurances by ministers and their issues will be taken up at the next cabinet meeting but they are not willing to listen," said Dr Dilip Mhaisekar, Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER). 

He also said that the residents were offered an alternative solution where they would be provided with off-campus hostel facilities. "The plan was to rent such facilities where they can move. We had even told them a pick-up and drop service would be arranged for but this was rejected," Dr Mhaisekar said.

Rs 10k
Increase in stipend demanded

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