Madhya Pradesh doctors' strike enters seventh day, talks with state government yield no result

By Express News Service
BHOPAL: The indefinite strike by junior doctors associated with six government medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh continued on the seventh day, as talks with the state government failed to end the deadlock on Sunday.

State medical education minister Vishvas Sarang held talks with the junior doctors’ representatives led by their state president Dr Arvind Meena.

The state government accepted four of the six demands of the junior doctors, including hiking their stipend by six per cent with retrospective effect since last three years, free treatment to their COVID infected kin at hospitals and setting up special outposts for doctors’ security.

However, the junior doctors demanded that instead of assurances, the state government issue proper government orders to implement the assurances. The junior doctors also added three more demands to existing demands, including revoking action initiated against junior doctors who had resigned en mass in support of their demands after May 31.

Sarang appealed the junior doctors to return to duties for honouring the Madhya Pradesh HC’s recent directions as well as in the larger interests of patients amid the COVID pandemic.

Importantly, on Thursday, the HC had declared the junior doctors strike illegal and directed them to resume duties within 24 hours, failing which the state government was directed by the HC to act against the junior doctors.

Subsequently, the MP Medical Science University in Jabalpur had cancelled the registration of 468 PG students in the government medical colleges of the state, which will make them ineligible of taking their final exams.

Also, the Dean of Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal got 28 striking junior doctors to vacate their hostels. Agitated over the action by the state government, over 2500 striking junior doctors who are on strike since May 31, have started resigning en mass.

Meanwhile, the HC is likely to hear a contempt petition against the striking junior doctors, who’ve failed to comply with its Thursday order, directing them to return to work in 24 hours.