Patients heave sigh of relief as Maharashtra doctors end strike

Mumbai, July 3 (IANS) Resident doctors posted at state government and municipal hospitals across Maharashtra called off their two-day strike following an amicable settlement of a majority of their demands, a top leader of the doctors said here on Friday.

The development comes as a welcome relief to thousands of patients at the strike-hit 14 government medical colleges-cum-hospitals and three run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation across Maharashtra.

Accordingly, around 4,500 resident doctors from these 17 medical colleges-cum-hospitals will resume duties from 8 p.m. on Friday.

Particularly affected for two days were medical services such as Outdoor Patients Departments, emergencies, surgeries and routine procedures, which were temporarily being manned by junior doctors and professors.

“We held fruitful negotiations with Medical Education Minister Vinod Tawde on our pending issues. The government has conceded nearly 90 percent of our demands and will give a written, time-bound commitment to implement them,” Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) president Sagar Mundada said.

Mundada said among the major demands conceded were two-month paid leave for expectant women doctors and those contracting tuberculosis, posting of post-graduates specialising in a particular field in the same department during bond period service, and a long-term plan to rationalise working hours.

MARD members struck work on Thursday after discussions with Tawde in June resulted only in oral assurances and no action on their implementation.

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