Nearly 3000 junior doctors have handed in their resignations after the Madhya Pradesh HC deemed their strike as “illegal”. The strike by junior doctors began on Monday, with demands such as hike in stipends and free Covid-19 treatment for doctors and family members, being put forward by doctors.
The MP government even after promising on making good with the demands on May 6th, has hardly done anything, forcing doctors to leave their work. At a press conference in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Medical Commissioner, Nishant Warwade, mentioned how a 17% hike in the stipend has been approved and orders will soon be given to enforce the hike. Madhya Pradesh Junior Doctors Association (MPJDA) President Dr Arvind Meena responded to this by saying:
“The government has promised to raise the stipend by 24 per cent and till they raise it to that limit, the strike will continue.”
On Thursday, the MP High Court ordered the doctors to end the strike and resume their duties in 24 hours, terming the protest as “illegal”. The division bench composed of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq Ahmed and Justice Sujoy Paul, stated that if the doctors did not return to their posts by 2:30pm (i.e. in 24 hours), the state would take serious action against them. According to the MPJDA secretary, police were even sent to doctors’ homes to stop the strike.
Meena has stated that the strike will continue and the Medical Officers Association and Federation of Resident Doctors Association will be joining the agitation. The junior doctors mostly from 6 govt. Medical colleges of the state, have handed in their resignation to the deans of the respective colleges. According to Meena, the doctors will not be able to sit for examinations as the state government has cancelled their enrollment for third year PG. In a statement by Dean of MGM Medical College Dr Sanjay Dixit, he said:
“We have deployed demonstrators, dental surgeons, and other doctors to tackle the situation and we didn’t face any trouble in treatment of the patients. We have sent a letter to Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University to cancel the enrollment of the third year exam of the agitating junior doctors.”
Reports on the mistreatment and sheer lack of consideration for health workers has been coming out since last years 1st wave. Reports of doctors being attacked, suffering from verbal and mental abuse in hospitals, many dying due to lack of quality treatment continue to come out daily. The HC and Government are attempting to threaten doctors who have brought to light, the state’s failure to protect and prioritise doctors in the pandemic.