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What mechanism evolved to avoid doctors’ strikes? HC asks government

The Bombay High Court sought to know from the Maharashtra government what mechanism it has evolved to prevent indefinite strikes declared time and again by doctors across the state while claiming that their demands have not fulfilled.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A K Menon was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Datta Mane last week against the indefinite strike called by resident doctors on July 2.

Over 4,000 resident doctors had gone on an indefinite strike from July 2 alleging the state government’s indifference to their demands of better pay, security and work hours. The strike was, however, called off on July 3 after talks between the doctors and government.

In his PIL, Mane sought a direction to the government to invoke provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against the doctors, if the strike was not called off.

The high court was today informed by the government that the strike has been called off and hence the PIL can be disposed of.

The bench was, however, not satisfied and observed that time and again doctors are going on strike which in turn causes problems for the patients.

“Tell us what mechanism have you (government) evolved to avoid such strikes? In the past also we had directed the government to come up with a redressal mechanism,” the court noted.

The bench has directed the government to file an affidavit in a week.

The doctors had decided to go on strike in June, but postponed it after intervention of state Medical Education Minister Vinod Tawde.

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had presented the state with a charter of 10 demands and had discussed the issue earlier this week with government officials.

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