Doctors associated with the Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), the regulatory body for resident doctors in Maharashtra, called off their protest on Friday, two days after the strike was announced. The doctors resumed their duties from 8 pm.
The decision was taken following a meeting with the state government, which has given a written circular to meet nine of the 10 demands put forth by the doctors.
The one demand that was not met was that of reducing working hours to 12 hours a day, with the government saying it was a long-term process.
“The meeting had been going on for two days, but we were given only verbal assurances. Finally they have given us an assurance in writing, which also states a particular time limit to fulfill each demand,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, MARD president. Over 4,000 doctors had been on strike since July 2 against the government’s silence on their demands. The 10 demands put forth by MARD included two months of paid leave for pregnancy and tuberculosis treatment, increase in stipend, security and bond-related issues.
Mundada said that the 4,000 doctors who went on strike would now hold a blood donation camp.
The strike had disrupted services at hospitals. Dr R N Bharmal, dean at civic-run Nair Hospital, said that the outpatient department, surgeries and emergency ward had been affected. “There were only 80 new admissions, 1,101 new OPD registrations and 51 operations. Out of the 537 resident doctors, only 64 were present on Thursday and 127 on Friday,” he said.