A stir by some 3,000 junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh entered its seventh day on Sunday with a delegation of the protesters and state medical education minister Vishwas Sarang meeting to end the stalemate.
Mr Sarang said the doctors met him at his residence and he told them that they must get back to work as even the MP High Court had termed their protest illegal.
"I told them to get back to work within 24 hours or the MP government will be free to take action against them. I asked them to resume work for the sake of patients who are facing such distressing times," the minister told PTI.
He said the state government had given the protesting doctors, affiliated to the MP Junior Doctors Association, a stipend of 17 per cent but the latter were adamant on getting 24 per cent.
Attempts to contact MP JUDA president Arvind Meena and secretary Ankita Tripathi were in vain.
Junior doctors in six medical colleges across MP have been protesting for a stipend hike as well as free COVID-19 treatment for them and their family.