Pune, 7th February 2024: The Maharashtra State Resident Doctors Association (MARD) has issued a warning of an indefinite strike starting today, with 450 resident doctors from B. J. Government Medical College in Pune set to participate. This mass action poses a potential threat to patient care at Sassoon General Hospital run by the state government.
Resident doctors from all government medical colleges across the state are joining the strike, commencing at 5 pm. The decision to strike comes after a similar action in January of the previous year, where the state government assured resolution of their demands, leading to the suspension of the strike. However, with no concrete decisions taken by the government in the past year, the resident doctors have decided to resume their protests.
Outpatient services at Sassoon Hospital are expected to be significantly impacted during the strike period. The increasing student population has resulted in insufficient hostel space at medical colleges, adding to the grievances of resident doctors. Delays in receiving stipends, often extending over several months, have further fueled discontent.
Key demands include the expansion of hostel facilities, timely deposit of tuition fees in the resident doctors’ accounts by the 10th of each month, and an adjustment of tuition fees in line with central government institutions.
Dr. Nikhil Gattani, president of B. J. Medical College MARD unit, emphasized that despite assurances from the government, various demands of the resident doctors remain unfulfilled, prompting the decision to resume the strike. Dr. Gattani stated, “We will not provide outpatient services during the strike period. However, all emergency services in the hospital will continue.”
The strike is a culmination of the frustrations of resident doctors, who feel compelled to take collective action to draw attention to their concerns and compel the authorities to address their longstanding grievances. The potential impact on patient care adds urgency to the call for prompt government intervention and resolution of the doctors’ demands.