Problem of striking doctors will be sorted: Medical director

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Mumbai, Apr 18 (UNI) At least 4,000 resident doctors and interns at government hospitals across Maharashtra continued their strike for the fourth day today, even as the state Medical Director W Y Tayade said their problems would soon be sorted out.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Tayade said resident doctors are on strike because of reduction in number of seats due to de-recognition of some of the courses by the state government. ''The courses that have been de-recognised will be recognised in due course of time in a phased manner, and the backlog will be over in next few years,'' he said.

Some of the medical courses like psychiatry, radiology and skin department have been de-recognised by the Grant Medical College.

Principal Secretary of Medical Education Amitabh Chandra, who was also present, said, ''We have discussed the matter with the Union Health Minister, who has agreed to take a decision on the issue soon''.

''The Union Health Minister has agreed to recognise the courses in a phased manner in the next couple of years, which will resolve the issue permanently,'' Mr Chandra said.

The Union Government had taken a decision to make medical students undergo their two-year post graduation courses in rural areas and work in government hospitals for a specified period.

Mr Chandra said the government had a meeting with the striking doctors that has been successful to some extent and the strike will end in the next couple of days.

He hinted that government will take action against the striking doctors as per the law.

Meanwhile, Dr Shailendra Chaudhary, one of the striking doctors and president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), said the promises made by the Medical Director were false and not feasible in the present situation.

''Why is the government not giving us anything in writing about the promises made to us, they are just making false promises,'' Dr Chaudhary said adding the doctors need an assurance in writing regarding the seats in the next eight weeks and recognising some of the medical courses in due course of time.

''If the medical director and the Principal secretary can make announcements to media, why can't they give us the same in writing?'' Dr Chaudhary asked.

He said the infrastructure in the existing medical colleges is in very bad shape, with colleges lacking many facilities like MRI and dialysis machines. 'The striking doctors will not budge till the 651 seats are filled by the government', Dr Chaudhary added.

Joint Director of Medical Educational Research at St George Hospital Pravin Shingare said students opt for private colleges and hospitals because of higher salary.

Meanwhile, the striking doctors are scheduled to meet late night.


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