3,500 Mah resident doctors, students on strike

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Mumbai, Apr 16 (UNI) Over 3,500 resident doctors, students and interns at government hospitals across Maharashtra continued their strike for the second day today demanding an increase in the number of seats for post graduate (PG) courses.

Medical students, based in the city, organised a candle light march this evening at Nair hospital to highlight the issue.

The number of PG seats in 2001 was 1,900 which has been reduced to 411 in 2008 due to lack of faculty in the state-run medical colleges. The number of seats in 2007 was 650, which has been steadily reduced by the government leading to unrest among the students opting for PG courses.

Maharashtra Medical Students Association Spokesman Dr Gunjan Sharma said, ''The number of seats in the government-run colleges are coming down and the same in private colleges is increasing. The number of patients attended by the government doctors is much higher in comparison to private doctors, but still the number has not increased.'' ''In the last 40-45 years, no new medical college has been started in the metropolis. Individual ministers have built universities but the state government cannot afford to build one for the students,'' Mr Sharma lamented.

''The attack on the government doctors by the relatives of patients is a common phenomenon and it is due to the stress under which the doctors are working,'' Dr Sharma said.

In the last few years, the instance of government doctors quitting government hospitals and joining private ones has become common due to the lack of proper faculty in government-run hospitals and reduction in PG seats, he added.

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