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Is Maharashtra headed towards a healthcare crisis? Lakhs of patients unattended with 12,000 doctors on strike and 6700 mass resignation

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 11:39am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

Lakhs of patients across Maharashtra state remain unattended as medical officers attached to the Maharashtra State Gazetted Medical Officers Organisation (MAGMO) are on an indefinite non co-operation strike and have refused to attend to patients. The doctors have continued their strike into the second day and have also made up their mind to submit resignations.

Speaking to dna, President and General Secretary of MAGMO, Dr Rajesh Gaikwad said, "We don't want people to suffer but we have no choice. Currently, around 7,000 operations are on hold, 5 lakh OPD patients and 1 to 1.5 lakh in door patients across Maharashtra remain unattended and about 50 to 60 post-mortems in every districts are on hold. The stir is also affecting patients suffering from tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy and family planning operations."

Around 12,000 doctors across Maharashtra have participated in the strike, as the government has failed to fulfill their commitments. MAGMO authorities have started receiving resignations of the doctors on strike from all over the state. “Till now we have received around 6,700 resignations. More 3,000 resignations are expected to come by the end of the day. Those who have handed over their resignations include medical officers involved in rendering healthcare services at state-run dispensaries, primary health centres, rural, sub-district and districts hospitals”, said Dr Rajesh Gaikwad. He has been on a hunger strike along with Dr Pramod Rakshamwar at Azad Maidan since yesterday, while hundreds of doctors from various districts are agitating at their district civil hospitals.

On Doctor's Day, 12,000 doctors in Maharashtra go on indefinite strike; hospitals on a standstill

Dr Rajesh added, "While we were on strike last month, we were promised that the decision would be taken in the next 10 days and the proposal will be put forth before the ministry for further consideration, in presence of Chief Secretary JS Sahariya and other senior administrative officers. Now we have realised that only the discussion is taking place but it has not reached any concrete conclusion on the issue. For the last 40 years, we are working like slaves and the government administration has been giving us fake promises since the last four years."

Senior cadre of the state health department who called for the strike have pressed for demands such as fixed working hours and special increments, sub-district and district hospitals, primary health centres, and state-run dispensaries. Specialist doctors have joined also hands in this agitation.

When contacted, Health Minister Suresh Shetty refused to comment on the issue.

Also read: Suresh Shetty blasts doctors for greed, says they'll be hated

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