New Delhi: The argument between the junior doctors of Madhya Pradesh and the state government resonated today in Delhi. Medics in the national capital stepped out to back them even as top officials of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) gathered in solidarity.
The protest by junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh has been in action since June 1 seeking a higher stipend and free COVID-19 treatment for them and their families. The state government on Sunday gave them 24 hours to return to work or face consequences for the same.
After this, at around 7 pm yesterday, several doctors of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital came out in support of their junior colleagues. They expressed their support by lighting candles and holding placards of the AIIMS Delhi Resident Doctors’ Association and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association along the road and in front of their college hostels.
Officials from the Federation of All India Medical Association, along with leaders from at least seven city hospitals, gathered a meeting at the Lady Hardinge Medical College to discuss the future course of action on this front.
As per one of the attendee officials, they have been in close contact with the junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh and will give a further update on more developments along the way.
Last Thursday, after the MP High Court directed the doctors to end their ‘illegal’ strike, some 3,500 junior doctors working in six government medical colleges in the state resigned.
The junior doctors had demanded a major hike in stipend and reserved hospital beds in case they get infected while serving pandemic patients.
The incident of cancellation of registration of 450 protesting doctors by the Madhya Pradesh Medical University in Jabalpur inflamed their anger and led to mass resignations.
In response to the above action, the state government has said it is working to raise the stipend of doctors and to fulfill most other demands. Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang on Sunday met a delegation of doctors at his residence and asked them to return to work for the sake of patients who are facing such distressing times or the MP government will be free to take action against them.
As per reports, Mr. Sarang told that the government had provided a stipend of 17 percent but the doctors were resolute on 24 percent.
This standoff between a government and medical workers comes at a critical juncture when India has only begun to overcome the deadly second Covid wave.