Amidst the tussle between the state government and doctors on strike, members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) from Maharashtra have decided to go on an indefinite strike starting today in support of resident doctors who are protesting rising assaults on doctors across the state.
There are around 40,000 doctors as members of IMA in Maharashtra and the decision of these private doctors going on immediate indefinite strike was taken in IMA Maharashtra state meeting held today.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Anil Pachnekar, Chairperson Action Sub Committee, IMA (Maharashtra), said, “At IMA, we are extending unconditional support to medical students. We have decided to go on an indefinite strike till the government takes action.”
As resident doctors entered the third day of their strike, the state government issued notices asking them to resume work or face action, IMA said it backs the doctors as they are only asking for security.
“Instead of solving the issue, the government has been threatening resident doctors to resume work with suspension and expulsion notices. They have been threatened with a 6-month pay cut. Resident doctors are only asking for security. Is the issue that big for the government that it cannot be resolved,” questioned Dr Shivkumar Utture, Treasurer, IMA (Maharashtra).
IMA said they were waiting for the government to take concrete steps, but after the recent developments, it has decided to go on indefinite strike.
The organisation said it is extremely difficult for resident doctors to work in an atmosphere of fear.
Meanwhile, Municipal Corporation Medical Teachers Association has also decided to extend its support to the resident doctors.
In a meeting held at KEM Hospital on March 22 afternoon, they decided to stop all routine activities from immediate effect.
“We are around 1,400 medical teachers from KEM Hospital, BYL Nair Hospital, LTMG (Sion) Hospital and RN Cooper hospital. We have decided to only provide emergency services and stop all routine work,” said Dr Rajesh Dere, committee member of the association.
On March 17, more than 1,000 IMA doctors from across the city and state gathered at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan to protest the brutal attack on resident doctor in Dhule earlier last week.
In less than a week’s time, five incidents of doctor being assaulted were reported from across the state. Following which, nearly 4,500 resident doctors went on mass leave in state medical colleges saying they are afraid to treat patients in hostile atmosphere.