Bad day to fall ill: Maharashtra doctors’ strike enters fourth day, Delhi docs stop work in support
Maharashtra’s doctors are up in arms recent cases of violence against medical practitioners, including instances in Dhule and Mumbai’s Sion Hospital-- where relatives of patients attacked their respective doctors-in-chargeindia Updated: Mar 23, 2017 12:15 IST
A strike by junior Maharashtra’s doctors, who are protesting a spate of assaults on colleagues by patients’ relatives, entered the fourth day on Thursday even as nearly 2,000 of them got expulsion notice a day ago.
Maharashtra’s doctors are up in arms recent cases of violence against medical practitioners, including instances in Dhule and Mumbai’s Sion Hospital-- where relatives of patients attacked their respective doctors-in-charge.
The agitators said patients are usually accompanied by a large number of relatives, which puts pressure on them. They have demanded adequate security measures and a pass system, where not more than two relatives will be allowed to remain with a patient inside the ward.
Medical services at major civic-run hospitals remained paralysed as doctors continued their ‘mass leave’ protest.
“We received eviction notices last night but the strike will continue,” said a resident doctor from LTMG Sion Hospital, where a new case of an assault on a female doctor was reported on Wednesday evening.
This was the seventh case of an assault on a doctor in the state in the last fortnight.
Faculty members at KEM Hospital, Nair Hospital and Sion Hospital will meet on Thursday to decide if they too want to join the students’ protests.
Close to 20,000 resident doctors at all major government hospitals in Delhi, except the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), also went on a mass casual leave on Thursday to express their solidarity with the Maharashtra doctors.
The resident doctors have decided to be absent from the out-patient department, operation theatres and wards between 9am and 4pm on Thursday. They, however, assured that emergency services will continue to run uninterrupted.
On Wednesday, nearly 1,200 doctors at AIIMS turned up for work wearing helmets to support their Maharashtra counterparts.
Maharashtra medical and education minister Girish Mahajan asked doctors to join duty by Wednesday evening or face stern action, including a salary cut for six months.
The Bombay high court is likely to further hear a PIL by city activist Afak Mandviya later in the day. The HC had on Tuesday slammed resident doctors who have resorted to a strike since Monday and granted liberty to hospital managements where the resident doctors are employed to take action against those who have on strike.
The PIL stated that flash strikes by resident doctors going have become a regular event because of which great inconvenience is caused to thousands of poor and needy patients.
“You are not fit to be doctors. You are fit to be an ordinary factory worker if you insist that you will not resume work until your demands are fulfilled,” the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Girish Kulkarni said.
They said that if the doctors cannot work, they must resign and gave the management free reign to initiate action against the doctors.