Resident doctors in Maharashtra have called for an indefinite strike across the state from Friday.
The Maharashtra State Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) said they will continue their strike, which began at 8 am, till their demands, including waiver of tuition fee for postgraduate medical students, COVID-19 incentives, and better hostel facilities at government-run medical colleges are not met.
What is MARD?
The Maharashtra State Association of Resident Doctors is an association of resident doctors of all the government/corporation medical colleges and hospitals of the state. It was formed to address the problems faced by the resident doctors in all government and municipal corporation-run hospitals across the state.
As of 2019, there were 4,500 resident doctor members in the collective.
What’s the strike about?
MARD has called for an indefinite strike from 11 am as their demands haven't been met.
Their primary demands are:
• Academic fees should be waived off.
• Hostel conditions should be improved as they are not good throughout Maharashtra
• TDS should not be deducted from the stipend of resident doctors of BMC hospitals
• The government hospitals throughout Maharashtra have not received the COVID-19 incentives, which they should receive
The doctors say that no action has been taken by the authorities in response to their demands as promised in August, and said it needs assurance in writing that all their demands would be fulfilled.
"We have been raising the issues for the last five months. But no action has been taken. No written assurance was received from the Maharashtra government so we will go on a strike from tomorrow onwards," MARD president Dnyaneshwar Dhobale Patil was quoted as saying to PTI on Thursday before the strike.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Akshay Yadav, member of MARD said, "Doctors have sacrificed everything for the people of India. So we just want justice for COVID-19 warriors."
He added, "Our primary demand is academic fees should be waived off. Secondly, the hostel conditions should be improved as they are not good throughout Maharashtra. Third, TDS should not be deducted from the stipend of resident doctors of BMC hospitals. The government hospitals throughout Maharashtra have not received the COVID-19 incentives. They should receive the incentive."
What services will be affected?
The association has emphasised that emergency medical services will be continued during the strike, but no Out Patient Department will be served.
Moreover, any optional or elective surgery will not take place at government or municipal corporation-run hospitals till the strike isn't called off.
With inputs from agencies