Madhya Pradesh: Junior Doctors' Strike Enter 2nd Day; Government Warns Of Action
Around 3,000 junior doctors from six medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh continued their strike for the second day on Tuesday to press for their various demands, including free treatment for them and their families if they contract Covid.
Around 3,000 junior doctors from six medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh continued their strike for the second day on Tuesday to press for their various demands, including free treatment for them and their families if they contract Covid. However, the state government has warned of action if the strike continues.
On Monday, the protesting doctors abstained from work at the Out Patient Departments (OPDs), the In-Patient Departments (IPDs) and other wards of various health care facilities. They also withdrew from Covid duties on Tuesday, MP Junior Doctors Association president Arvind Meena told PTI.
The association, comprising around 3,000 members from six medical colleges in the state, has demanded that beds for junior doctors serving COVID-19 patients be reserved in separate areas in case they contract the infection. It has also demanded that medical treatment should be free for such doctors as well as their family members.
Mr Meena said there has not been a hike in their stipend since the past couple of years, despite an assurance from the state government. Earlier, the junior doctors went on a strike on May 6, but resumed a few hours later after the state government assured them that their demands would be met.
Mr Meena claimed the state government had then promised that the association's demands would be met, but nothing has materialised so far. The association has now demanded that the government release a written order fulfilling their demands, he said.
Meanwhile, state Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang said the government will take action if the protesting doctors do not resume work. "It is unfortunate that when society needs them the most, the doctors are on strike. The government has accepted their demands. The state government is paying a stipend of Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 per month to them," Mr Sarang told reporters when asked about the matter.
He said four out of six demands of the junor doctors have been accepted completely, but they are still maintaining a stubborn attitude. "This is like blackmailing patients. It is an unfortunate situation, that when the time comes to fulfil the resolve with which they have become doctors, they have started blackmailing the patients," he claimed.
Mr Sarang said he has requested the doctors return to work as soon as possible. "If they do not return to work, then we will definitely have to take action. It will be difficult for us to tolerate any injustice to patients," the minister added. However, MP Congress chief Kamal Nath said the state government should consider the demands of the junior doctors.
"They are on strike to press for their 6-point charter of demands. Health services are being affected by their strike in this period of pandemic. The government should immediately consider their demands sympathetically and take a decision in the public interest," Mr Nath said in a tweet.
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