Taking a strong step against the doctors on strike which has paralysed the healthcare situation in Maharashtra, the government dismissed 219 doctors on Saturady evening. The government has also warned that strict action would be taken against the rest of the doctors under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act (MESMA), if they failed to return to work by Sunday.
Meanwhile, doctors on strike have still refused to treat patients, including two injured patients who lost their lives in Nagpur.
Around 12,000 medical officers, including permanent employees, temporary employees and 'bonded' doctors, went on an indefinite strike from July 1 in the state, crippling health services. The medicos, staging protest under banner of Maharashtra Association of Gazetted Medical Officers (MAGMO), are demanding for higher pays, permanent status to Ayurveda and dental health officers and fixed duty hours.
Principal Secretary, Public Health department, Sujata Saunik said, "The strike is illegal and the doctors should not hold citizens to ransom. The government is positively considering the demands of the doctors.”
So far, 3 percent of the medical officers on strike have resumed work. But if the doctors on strike don't return to work, new doctors will be appointed on a contract basis.
However, MAGMO president Dr Rajesh Gaikwad is not ready to back out from the strike until all the demands are fulfilled.