Mumbai: Maharashtra government has warned that provisions of Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act would be invoked against members of Maharashtra Association of Gazetted Medical Officers who went on a strike on Tuesday.
There are a total of 5,310 government medical officers in the state which includes 3,579 permanent employees, 1,190 temporary employees and 541 `bonded` doctors (who work in government hospitals for a year after graduation as per the undertaking given in a bond).
The MAGMO is demanding eight-hour working shift, pay hike and retrospective benefits for the temporary doctors who were later made permanent.
Sources in the public health department said MAGMO officials have been resorting to arm-twisting and going back on their promise that after the contract-employees were made permanent, they would not seek benefits for the period prior to that.
"We have agreed only to accept their demands that are legally valid, like removal of disparity in pay-scales," Health Minister Suresh Shetty said, adding that MESMA will be invoked if strike was not called off.
Sources said 95 doctors have gone on leave with prior permission while 1,012 temporary, 271 bonded and 2,517 permanent medical officers were participating in "non- cooperation" agitation. As many as 1,306 medical officers reported for duty today.
MAGMO representative Rajesh Gaikwad said as many as 4,000 primary health care centres were affected due to the strike. "We are demanding implementation of the 6th pay commission from January 1, 2006, permanent status for 789 Bachelor Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery and 32 Bachelor of Dental Surgery health officers and fixed duty hours," he said.