The 3,000 junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh ended their week-long protest on Monday, June 7, after a meeting with state Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang, The Indian Express reported.
Representatives of the MP Junior Doctors Association (JUDA) met Sarang and sought a written order from the state government for addressing their demands. The minister said the doctors agreed to end the indefinite strike. The government agreed to give a hike of 17 per cent in stipend to them the previous day, he added.
Doctors from six colleges across Madhya Pradesh on June 4 had resigned en masse. They staged a protest demanding a 24 per cent hike in stipend, better security at hospital premises, and medical treatments for themselves and family members, in case they contract COVID-19.
Resident doctors of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and Safdarjung hospital in Delhi held a candlelight march on Sunday, June 6, in solidarity with the junior doctors.
The doctors had urged Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to immediately meet the protesters and take cognisance of the matter. If the issue is not addressed within 24 hours, they will stage a nationwide protest.
The doctors took to the streets of the national capital around 7 pm. They marched from the hospital premises to Aurobindo Marg, shouting slogans - 'MP govt hosh me aao!', band karo ye atyachaar', 'We want justice'.
The Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) and the Delhi Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) had also expressed their solidarity with the Madhya Pradesh colleagues.
The association said the MP doctors were protesting for their rightful demands, which were denied outrightly. "The outraged administration is headed to spoil the careers of thousands of trainee doctors. We are enraged to learn about the atrocities and callousness of the government of Madhya Pradesh," Hindustan Times quoted FORDA's statement.
The country's healthcare system is already a mare's nest, and the shortfall in the number of doctors would add to the woes, FORDA said.
FORDA representatives had met former National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Justice Arun K Mishra and notified him of the doctors' distress. Speaking to the media, the association's national convenor, Dr Vinay, called the doctors' demands very genuine.
The Madhya Pradesh government, on May 6, had said that they would provide for the safety and security of doctors in hospitals, priority medical treatment to them and their families, and a stipend hike of about 6 per cent, with an incentive.
However, the government did not implement what was announced. Stating the assurances as verbal, the doctors went on indefinite strike from May 31.
The state High Court had ordered them to resume their duties and termed the protest 'illegal', following which the doctors had resigned. The state government had also sent eviction notices on Saturday asking the medicos to vacate their hostels.