New Delhi: The Delhi government on Tuesday asked the resident doctors of the government hospitals, who are on strike, to return to work or face action, an official said. The doctors, however, refused to call off the strike on mere assurances. "The government has warned that if the doctors do not return to work by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, strict action will be taken against them. The strike is not justified when we have agreed to all the demands," said a senior official of the Delhi government.
The doctors, under the banner of the Federation Of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), however, refused to resume work till their demands are implemented. FORDA is an association of 25 Delhi-based government hospitals. "As of now, there is not going to be an end to this strike even if the government threatens us of action. Even earlier, similar assurances regarding consideration of our demands were given to us but nothing was implemented," a senior resident doctor and FORDA member Pradeep Kumar told IANS. "Let the government suspend all 20,000 resident doctors if they can.
At least the government should know the difficulties caused due to the absence of resident doctors," he added. Over 20,000 resident doctors from 25 government hospitals in Delhi went on an indefinite strike on Monday, demanding adequate stocks of life-saving drugs, security at work place, fixed duty hours and timely payment of their salaries. Doctors went on strike in February too, after which Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain assured them of better working conditions.
The strike since Monday has affected outpatient department (OPD) and private ward services but emergency services have not been interrupted. The Delhi government on Monday accepted all the 19 demands of the striking doctors during a two-hour-long meeting at the Delhi Secretariat, which was attended by around 25 resident doctors. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted on the issue: "Most demands of striking doctors genuine. I have directed the health department to implement them. The department should have resolved it earlier."