MESMA: State govt is trying to muffle our voice, allege resident doctors association

In order to prohibit the doctors, resident doctors, nurses and the staff of the government medical colleges from going on strike, the Maharashtra government has considered to impose the MESMA Act on government-run hospitals. This move will help curb the frequent strikes which in turn cripple the healthcare system

Image source: Google Image used for representational purpose
Image source: Google
Image used for representational purpose

The Maharashtra government is contemplating to slap anti-strike act Maharashtra Essential Services Maintainance Act (MESMA) on the medical colleges.

But, the decision of the state government has not gone well with the resident doctors in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has opposed the medical education ministry’s proposal. The doctors union has said that the government is trying to muffle the voice of the doctors by applying MESMA on them.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Lokeshkumar Chitwadkar, President of MARD said, “State government is contemplating to slap MESMA on us. But, the decision is absolutely wrong. Before slapping MESMA on us, the state should look into the aspect of why at the first place we go on strike. If the doctors are going on strike for their personal interests, then the government should take action. But, rather than finding the real cause, the government is trying to muffle our voice.”

Dr Chitwadkar added, “For the past few months we are trying to meet the Medical Education Minister to put forth our demands. The government is not ready to listen to our demands, but want to slap anti-strike law, we will oppose this.”

Intern doctors from Maharashtra, have also echoed the same. While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Gokul Rakh, Secretary of the Intern doctors Association said, “If the government slaps MESMA, we can’t call for a strike. The government doesn’t listen to us. So, the strike is the only way to make the government listen to our concerns. We will oppose the move. Even we don’t want to go on strike, the goverment should provide adequate security, good infrastructures, stipend, etc. then why we will go on strike”

While the resident and the intern doctors union are opposing the move. They have received support from the resident doctors union of the All India Institute of the Medical Sciences.

Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, President of the resident doctors association of AIIMS, while speaking to My Medical Mantra says, “To slap MESMA, means the doctors will have to listen to what the government says. If this happens no doctor will work in the government hospital. And this again will have its effect on the patients.”

The Indian Medical Association has also supported the concern of the resident doctors. Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, Secretary of the Indian Medical Association, Maharashtra, says, “The government should not apply MESMA to the doctors. In government hospitals, the doctors are attacked and assaulted by the patient’s relatives. The only way the doctors can protest is to strike. But, the government wants to take the tool away from the doctors. We oppose it.”