No more strikes: Maha to invoke anti-strike act ‘MESMA’ in medical colleges

The Maharashtra government is contemplating to invoke the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against the healthcare workers in the state

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  • The Medical Education Ministry has sent the proposal to the Chief Minister’s for approval.
  • Once the government approves it, doctors, nurses, technicians and workers attached to the government hospital can’ t go on strike, as it will be prohibited under the law.
  • The government is deliberating this decision as during the doctors strike, poor and needy patients suffer a lot.

With an aim to curb flash strikes, and sudden mass leave from doctors, nursing staff, and other health workers attached to the government hospitals, the state government is planning to invoke ‘MESMA’ against the health workers. The Medical Education Ministry has sent the proposal to slap MESMA to the chief minister.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Praveen Shingare, Director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) said, “MESMA is applied for six months, and when the stipulated time period is over, we have to issue it again. The stipulated time period of the earlier MESMA has ended. So, we have sent a fresh proposal to the government to invoke MESMA again. During the doctor’s strike, the patient has to suffer a lot and the health system collapses. To stop this, the government is deliberating upon this”

Dr Shingare further added, “Not only the resident and intern doctors, the senior doctors, nursing staff, technician and the workers will also come under the ambit of the act. If a sudden strike is announced in the hospital, this process takes 2-3 days. So, the government is contemplating this.”

What is MESMA?

  • Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act 2011
  • MESMA is invoked to protect the common man’s rights. And to ensure that essential services are not affected
  • The state can take action against the violators
  • MESMA is invoked to maintain smooth services of health services, milk, electricity, and other essential services.

Resident and intern doctors, nursing and technician staff goes on sudden strike to raise their demands. Owing to which the health service in the state is affected. And the poor patient bares the pain of the strike.

A recent example of this being a flash strike by nurses and medical staff at Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivali, over shortage of workers. The most recent medical institution to have the MESMA Act slapped upon it was Pune’s B J Medical College, which is attached to Sassoon Hospital. The MESMA Act was involved to tackle a strike, as flash strikes can lead to the collapse of medical services.