Published On: Tue, Jun 23rd, 2015

Delhi govt imposes ESMA as doctors’ strike enters second day

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government on Tuesday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to force an end to the strike by government doctors that continued to paralyse health services in the national capital for a second consecutive day.

The strike of government doctors that continued to paralyse health services in Delhi for a second consecutive day.

The strike of government doctors that continued to paralyse health services in Delhi for a second consecutive day.

A senior Delhi government official said that authorities had yesterday accepted 19 demands of the striking resident doctors and asked them to resume their work as the strike was hampering medical services.

The government imposed ESMA when the doctors continued the strike even after those demands were made, and after the government made the minutes of the meeting public.

“The strike is not justified when we have agreed to all the demands. Doctors of Delhi government hospitals should resume their work and not join with central government hospitals,” the official added.

The state government had given doctors until 11 a.m. Tuesday to return to work.

The protesting doctors said they have not called off the strike as they need concrete measures from the government which, they claimed, has in the past given similar assurances but failed to deliver.

“The minutes of the meeting that has been made public is similar to the one which they (government) had given us in February.

“Even that time, they had given assurances of fulfilling our demands, but failed to deliver on those. So, as of now, the strike continues until some concrete steps are taken,” said Anshuman Raheja, spokesperson for the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (Forda).

The striking doctors are demanding adequate life-saving drugs, security at workplace and timely payment of salaries.

The strike by the resident doctors at over 20 hospitals run by the central and Delhi governments and municipal corporations, including Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Maulana Azad Medical College, has hit medical services.

A doctor at Safdarjung Hospital claimed, meanwhile, that while OPD (outpatient department) and private ward services have been crippled, emergency services were not affected.

PTI

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