Maharashtra medicos call off 4-day-old strike

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Around 3,500 resident doctors in all government-run hospitals in Maharshtra have called off their four-day-old strike Friday, an official here said.

“We have decided to call off the strike in view of the government’s assurances to continue negotiations on our pending demands,” Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) president Santosh Wakchaure told mediapersons here.

Wakchaure said the medicos decided to call off their agitation in view of the severe drought situation in large parts of the state and the doctors did not want to add to the woes of the people.

The announcement came barely hours after around 2,000 MARD doctors declared that they had called off the strike and would resume duties Friday night.

This left around 1,500 doctors working in three major hospitals run in the city by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), who are still on strike since last Tuesday.

The chief demands of MARD included enhanced stipend and better working conditions.

The strike proved a harrowing experience for thousands of patients in the government-run hospitals.

Adopting a tough stand, the state government Thursday night threatened to invoke the stringent Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act against the striking medicos.

The government also slapped eviction notices on the medicos to vacate their official quarters in various hospitals and medical colleges if they continued the strike.

The medicos, who get a stipend of Rs.31,000 per month, have been offered Rs.36,000 by the government, but the doctors are adamant on Rs.41,000.

According to indications, the doctors will start resuming their duties Friday night and the situation is expected to return to normal by Saturday morning.

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