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Lucknow: Striking doctors resume work

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
May 27, 2006 16:13 IST
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Resident doctors at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow resumed their duties on Saturday.

The doctors, who were protesting against the government's decision to reserve 27 per cent of seats in central educational institutions, decided to call off the week long stir after a late night meeting on Friday.

Asked if the move was prompted by the government's decision to sack them, Resident Doctors Association president Amit Goel said, "We have called off the strike in response to the appeal made by President A P J Abdul Kalam in the larger interest of patients."

An official spokesman for the Uttar Pradesh government said the state government was all set to terminate the services of the striking resident doctors on Saturday under the Essential Services Maintenance Act.

However, Goel maintained, "Well, we don't fall under the purview of the ESMA as we are not regular employees of the institute."

Notwithstanding the claims and counter-claims, the withdrawal of the strike has brought much-desired respite to patients.

"I am so relieved that the doctors have called off their agitation; at least now, they'll resume treatment for my husband," observed Rama Devi, wife of 57-year-old Sohan Singh, suffering from renal failure.

Singh has come all the way from Patna in Bihar.

After being discharged on May 21, he had moved to a nearby private guesthouse, hoping to resume treatment as soon as the stir was called off.

Members of SGPGIMS faculty were also instrumental in motivating the resident doctors to give up their agitation in the larger interest of patients.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow