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Mumbai, Mar 5: At least 760 striking resident doctors in Maharashtra have been issued termination notices by the health authorities as the strike by the medicos entered the sixth straight day today.

Four hundred and fifty of the total 1,400 striking registered resident doctors (post-graduate students) and Resident medical officers (RMOs) of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-run hospitals in the city were issued termination orders this evening, Additional Municipal Commissioner V Patankar said.

In Pune, at least 310 resident doctors of Sassoon Hospital, who joined the indefinite strike three days back, were served termination order by the Dean of the hospital last night following instructions from the Health Department in Mumbai, official sources said.

Though the BMC claimed that the Mumbai University has been informed about the termination, sources from the Post-graduate department of the university told PTI that they have not received any list of the post-graduate students' names for withdrawal of their registration.

Meanwhile, Dr Srikant Pandit, the president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), which is spearheading the strike, said, the doctors would continue their strike till their demands on security and stipend are met.

He also said, "None of us received the termination notices by hand. The BMC is sticking the notices on the doors of the doctors' rooms in the hostels."

The doctors, who started their indefinite strike on February 27, are demanding adequate security against attack by patients' relatives and increase in stipend.

MARD president said their cause was also supported by doctors in other parts of Maharashtra as the reason for the strike was "genuine and it is in the public interest".

"We are holding a meeting at 7:30 pm today when we will decide about our future course of action," he said adding that Delhi Federation of Doctors are also supporting them and they may also go on strike.

However, intensifying the agitation, the striking doctors today raised slogans outside hospitals.

"Government has been giving only verbal assurances and we have often faced security problem," the MARD president said.

Meanwhile, the hospital authorities across the state said, despite the strike by junior doctors OPD patients were being treated and surgeries were being conducted.

Dean, KEM hospital Dr Nilima Kshirsagar said patients are getting admitted but emergency cases are given priority.

The Minister for Higher Education Dilip Valse Patil had indicated earlier that if the doctors do not come back, then the government would be taking help from doctors in Army and Navy.

In Nagpur, the resident doctors of Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC) today joined their striking colleagues, official sources said.

"About 82 out of 133 resident doctors have gone on strike and we have made alternate arrangements. So the routine work including OPD will not be affected," Dean of IGMC Dr Pendharkar told PTI.

None from the teaching staff have joined the strike, she said adding action is being initiated against the striking doctors.

In Mumbai and Pune, "they (striking doctors) even tried to start a parallel OPD within the hospital premises but it was not allowed," official sources said.

However, the agitation by the resident doctors has not affected the functioning of the corporation and government-run hospitals much, the officials said.  


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