Around 3,000 striking junior doctors of Madhya Pradesh have resigned as their agitation entered the sixth day on Saturday (June 5). On the other hand, the government on Saturday said that if the doctors resign they will have to pay a bond of Rs. 40 lakh.
The doctors have been on strike since May 31 to press their charter of demands, which include a hike in their stipend and free treatment for them and their families if they contract coronavirus infection. It needs to be mentioned that several doctors of the state had died while performing duties during the first and second waves of COVID-19.
The move to resign came after the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday declared the strike illegal and directed the junior doctors to resume duty within 24 hours.
The doctors have now decided to challenge the high court ruling. According to Madhya Pradesh Junior Doctors Association Secretary Ankita Tripathi nearly 3,000 junior doctors have submitted their resignations.
“The government didn’t accept our demands but only gave us assurance so we did not end our strike,” she was quoted on India Today TV.
She also charged that police personnel are being sent to the houses of the doctors to end the strike. “The government is saying that junior doctors are blackmailing them which is not true. If we had to blackmail the government, why are there fewer patients now?” she asked.
Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang said that even after their demands were met, “their attitude shows their bigotry”.
Meanwhile, MPJDA President Dr Arvind Meena has claimed that the government authorities promised to fulfil their demands but nothing happened after that, forcing the doctors to stop work.
When asked about the government’s decision to raise their stipend by 17 per cent, Dr. Meena said: “The government has promised to raise the stipend by 24 per cent and till they raise it to that limit, the strike will continue.”