Six days after holding protests across the state, around 12,000 government doctors called off their strike on Monday. The doctors under the Maharashtra State Gazetted Medical Officers Organisation ended their agitation after the intervention of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Although the Chief Minister hasn’t directly accepted the 11 pending demands of the medicos, doctors are hopeful that the demands would be soon met with. “The Chief Minister has agreed to look into our demands. The government has already prepared two Cabinet notes and the matter will be taken up in the Cabinet soon. For the first time in about three years, we felt that the government is seriously taking our problems into consideration,” said MAGMO President Rajesh Gaikwad who headed the delegation which met the CM. He broke the hunger strike by sipping on a glass of juice.
Mr. Chavan said that he has been aware of the problem for a while. “I understand the concerns. I have been in dialogue with the doctors for a few years. The government is positive on some of the issues raised. On demands which are deadlocked, a proposal would be brought in the Cabinet and efforts would be made to resolve them, he said.
State Health Minister Suresh Shetty said that efforts would be made to fill the permanent vacant posts by hiring doctors who work on contracts.
This is the third time that MAGMO doctors across the state have struck work in the last three years. The strike began on July 1 over demands seeking the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, extending retirement age from 58 years to 62 years, and absorption of employees hired on contractual basis. Other major demands include a pay hike, fixed working hours and regularisation of promotion procedure.
Last week, the state government invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act and dismissed 265 protesters. “The CM has agreed to let them off,” said Dr. Gaikwad