The Maharashtra government today asked the medical officers, who are on an indefinite strike, to resume duty from tomorrow morning, failing which, provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) will be invoked against them.
More than 5,000 medical officers, including permanent employees, temporary employees and 'bonded' doctors, went on an indefinite strike from July 1 in the state, crippling health services.
Addressing a press conference here, Principal Secretary, Public Health department, Sujata Saunik said the strike was illegal and the doctors should not hold citizens to ransom.
"The government is positively considering demands of doctors. So far, 3 per cent medical officers (on strike) have resumed work,"she said.
Saunik said the government has made alternative arrangement of hiring medical officers on ad-hoc basis and advertisements have been put out in newspapers to ensure patients do not suffer due to the strike.
The medicos, staging protest under banner of Maharashtra Association of Gazetted Medical Officers, are demanding for higher pays, permanent status to Ayurveda and dental health officers and fixed duty hours.