Mumbai, Apr 17: Joined by the Medicos and teachers on Thursday, the indefinite strike by medical students in government medical colleges across Maharashtra intensified further to demand more seats in post graduation course.
The services in the hospitals will be affected on Thursday onwards as the resident medicos and teachers have joined the stir, government and municipal hospital authorities said.
Over 6,000 medical students began their indefinite strike on Tuesday demanding to maintain the teacher-student ratio (1:2) as it was in 2001 with 1900 seats for the PG course. They accused Medical Council of India (MCI) for slashing the number of pg seats to 411 this year from 653 last year which reduced the teacher-student ratio to 1:1.
The students want MCI to at least restore 653 seats fixed for the year 2007 as the counselling for admission to PG has already begun on April 8.
The strike will continue till the 1900 seats are restored, student representative Akshay Bafna said. Meanwhile, medical faculty members are sporting black badges on Thursday and the Maharashtra association of resident doctors in Mumbai, which did not participate in the last two days, have begun their indefinite strike on Thursday from 8 am onwards, doctors said.
Maharashtra Minister for energy and higher education Dilip Valse Patil has rushed to new Delhi to discuss the issue with the centre and MCI.
"Patil has gone to New Delhi to discuss the matter with the Central Directorate of Higher Education and MCI to sort out the matter," Suresh Shetty, Minister of state for medical education told PTI on Thursday.
The students will also take out a procession to J J hospital
The students will also take out a procession to J J hospital on Thursday from other government and municipal hospitals. MCI had reduced the number of seats to 411 this year as they felt that some of the government medical colleges did not have adequate infrastructure meant for post graduation course as per the guidelines laid out by them.
The teachers said if the issue is not sorted out soon, they would go mass casual leave, may be from tomorrow. A decision in this regard will be taken on Thursday, they said. Higher education should not be given such a treatment by the centre. Post graduate students or the residents form the backbone of any healthcare system in the government set up and it is high time the number of seats are retained atleast at 653," Dr Shailesh Mohite, general secretary, teachers welfare association said.
"With this move (reducing the seats), healthcare in the government hospitals will be minus the specialities and they will be reduced to mere primary health care centers which in turn might affect the poor patients who come from all across the state," he said.
The resident doctors will begin running parallel OPDs for patients outside the hospital premises from Friday or Saturday with the help of NGOs and pharma companies, MARD representative Dr Deepak Pathak said.