New Delhi: The Delhi government's deadline to the resident doctors to end their strike has ended. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had given the doctors time till 11 am on Tuesday to resume work and said that if the doctors do not report by then, government may take action against them under the Essential Services Maintenance Act.
The government had on Monday accepted all 19 demands of the 15,000 resident doctors. The government had warned that if the doctors do not return to work, strict action will be taken against them.
Refusing to call off strike, doctors have been claiming that the final decision will be made only after Delhi government makes minutes of the meeting public. "We are yet to receive minutes of the meeting and only after reviewing it, a final decision will be made," said a doctor on strike, who also attended the meeting.
Resident doctors have been on an indefinite strike demanding adequate life-saving drugs, security at workplace, fixed duty hours and timely payment of their salaries. The doctors on strike are from 20 hospitals run by the central and Delhi governments and municipal corporations, including Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College affected services at the facilities.
The strike affected OPD (Outpatient department) and private ward services but emergency services were not interrupted, claimed a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital.
According to the doctors, the government has failed to fulfil their demands regarding which they earlier had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Health Minister.
The Delhi government had on Monday accepted all the 19 demands of the striking doctors in a two-hour-long meeting held at the Delhi Secretariat, which was attended by around 25 resident doctors.
On February 27, resident doctors had gone on a day-long strike over similar issues but it was called off after both the Centre and the state government held a meeting and discussed their issues.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted on the issue, "Most demands of striking doctors genuine. I have directed Health Department to implement them. Health Department should have resolved it earlier (sic)."
Congress, meanwhile, extended support to the striking doctors, and asked the Delhi government to address their demands immediately as the possibility of spurt in cases of illnesses lurks with the advent of monsoon.