The Andhra Pradesh high court Friday asked striking junior doctors in government-run hospitals to end their stir by April 18 and warned that otherwise they would face contempt of court proceedings.
Taking serious note of the continuing strike by 2,500 junior doctors, the court said they could leave the country if they didn't trust the Indian healthcare system. It also asked the Medical Council of India to explain why the registration of striking doctors could not be cancelled.
While the government ruled out further talks with the agitating medicos and threatened action against them, the Andhra Pradesh Junior Doctors Association made it clear that they would continue the strike till their demands were met.
The strike entered its 10th day Friday and for the third straight day junior doctors boycotted emergency services causing severe inconvenience to patients in major hospitals in the state capital and other towns.
Despite Friday being a holiday for court, a division bench comprising Chief Justice G.S. Sanghvi and Justice Bhavani Prasad heard a public interest petition, seeking the court's intervention to end the strike.
Advocate General Mohan Reddy said the court directed the government to make alternative arrangements to provide medical services and if necessary take the assistance of doctors of railways, the army and private practitioners.
The government submitted a report to the court detailing the alternative arrangements made to deal with the situation.
The doctors are demanding that the state government withdraw its order providing concessions to in-service doctors in admissions to postgraduate medical courses.
Health Minister K. Rosaiah ruled out further talks with striking doctors. He said no meeting would be held with all political parties and striking doctors on Sunday as announced earlier.