Maharashtra Resident Doctors Launch Statewide Strike Over Unmet Demands

Resident Doctors

Mumbai: The resident doctors of Maharashtra, who are the backbone of the public health system, have launched an indefinite strike from 5 pm on Thursday, February 22, 2024, to protest against the state government’s failure to address their long-pending issues. The strike, spearheaded by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors Central (MARD), will affect the medical services across the state, except for emergency care.

The resident doctors, who number around 8,000, have three main demands: better hostel accommodation, a hike in stipend, and clearance of arrears. They claim that they have been living in substandard and overcrowded hostels, which pose a risk to their health and safety. They also allege that they have not received any increment in their stipend since 2019, despite the rising cost of living and the additional workload due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, they say that they have not been paid their dues for the past six months, which amounts to over Rs 200 crore.

The resident doctors have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the state government, which they accuse of ignoring their genuine concerns and making false promises. They say that they have called off their strike multiple times in the past, trusting the government’s assurances that their demands would be met within a stipulated time frame. However, they say that nothing has changed on the ground, and they have no choice but to resort to the extreme step of going on an indefinite strike.

Resident Doctors

The resident doctors have written a letter to the state health minister, Tanaji Sawant, explaining their decision and urging him to intervene and resolve the matter at the earliest. They have also appealed to the public to support their cause and understand their plight. They have assured that they will continue to provide emergency services to the patients, but they will not attend to any routine or elective cases until their demands are fulfilled.