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Striking Delhi doctors return to work

New Delhi: Over 20,000 striking resident doctors of Delhi hospitals resumed work on Wednesday much to the relief of hard-pressed patients after authorities assured them their demands will be met within a time-frame.

“We have called off the strike as we have been given a proper time-frame within which the government will fulfil all our demands,” Pankaj Solanki, president of the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), told IANS.

Asked if the doctors would again go on strike if the demands were not fulfilled, Solanki said: “This time we have been given a proper time-frame and we are pretty sure that they will implement the demands as they would not want patients to suffer again.”

The strike was called off after a meeting between union health ministry officials and FORDA representatives which was chaired by Health Secretary B.P. Sharma of the union ministry of health and family welfare.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on the issue on Tuesday: “Most demands of the striking doctors are genuine. I have directed the health department to implement them. Health department should have resolved it earlier.”

FORDA is an association of doctors of 25 Delhi-based government hospitals.

Over 20,000 resident doctors from 25 government hospitals in the city went on an indefinite strike on Monday, demanding adequate stocks of life-saving drugs, security at work place, fixed duty hours and timely payment of their salaries.

On February 27 also, resident doctors went on a day-long strike over similar issues, but called it off after both the central and the state governments held a meeting and discussed their grievances.