Indian Medical Association (IMA), Maharashtra, has called off doctors’ strike in the state, after meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday (March 24) afternoon. At least, 40,000 doctors, along with medical teachers, medical interns, pathologists and radiologists associations, had gone on indefinite strike to support protesting resident doctors.
“IMA had a successful talk with CM Devendra Fadnavis, Minister of Health Dr Deepak Sawant, Minister of Medical Education Girish Mahajan and Minister of State for Home Affairs Dr Ranjit Patil. All our demands have been met. We are therefore calling off the strike,” said Dr Shivkumar Utture, Treasurer, IMA.
IMA’s decision has come after Bombay HC’s stern observations. HC, while hearing a plea, had rapped the striking resident doctors and had warned that punitive action can be taken by the government and BMC if the striking doctors fail to report to work by tomorrow.
During the course of hearing, the state government informed the court that 359 patients have lost their lives due to the ongoing strike in various parts of Maharashtra. In Mumbai alone, 135 people deaths have been reported.
Meanwhile, MARD had filed an affidavit in HC disassociating itself with striking doctors. IMA representatives later met the chief minister in the afternoon and held a meeting in their Juhu office where the decision to call off the strike was taken.
“We have requested resident doctors to resume work. Meeting of resident doctors is presently on in different public hospitals. Now, resident doctors have to take a final call,” said Utture.
As resident doctors’ protest entered the fifth day and medical services started crippling further, CM Fadnavis also issued a stern warning to striking doctors.
“Enough is enough; we will not tolerate this, we can’t let people suffer or left to die,” said Maha CM while briefing the assembly.
Terming doctors’ action insensitive, CM added, “If doctors don’t listen, then we will not forgive them. If poor patients suffer then state will take action against the doctors.”
Now, it remains to be seen, will the residents call off the protest and resume their duty. They are scheduled to meet the CM today.
As 4,500 resident doctors in the state’s medical colleges are on indefinite leave since March 20, the health-care services in public-run hospitals in the state have crippled.