Court orders striking medicos to resume duties

Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) The Bombay High Court Wednesday ordered resident doctors in government hospitals across the state to call off their two-day strike immediately.

President of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) Santosh Wakchaure said they would study the court order before taking a final decision.

Nearly 3,500 medicos, including 2,000 in 14 government hospitals in the state, have kept away from work since Tuesday to press for their demands, including better stipend and work conditions.

Giving their ruling in a public interest litigation filed by social activist A. Mandaviya, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M.S. Sanklecha expressed satisfaction that the state government had taken sufficient steps to resolve the doctors’ grievances and asked them to call of their agitation.

State advocate general D. Khambatta told the court that after several meetings between the government and the medicos, all the latter’s grievances had been resolved, barring the issue of enhanced stipend.

The medicos, who get a stipend of Rs.31,000 per month, have been offered Rs.36,000, but the doctors want Rs.41,000.

The Maharashtra government has also warned the doctors that they could face action against the Essential Services Maintenance Act if they failed to return to duty in the interest of thousands of suffering patients.

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