Over 12,000 city private doctors have decided to stay off work on the 24th every month till the government passes a law making attacks on doctors a non-bailable offence.
They said they would only take up emergency cases, and routine surgeries or check-ups, on these days.
The Association of Medical Consultants (AMC) and various doctors’ bodies, including Indian Medical Association, General Practitioners’ Association, Surgeons’ Association and Nursing Homes’ Association, took the call on Wednesday. Their decision comes in the wake of an assault on five resident doctors at Parel’s KEM Hospital by a patient’s relatives on Tuesday.
Earlier, ophthalmologists across the state had announced that they would observe a ‘No Practice Day’ on the 24th of every month after a group of men blackened the face of ophthalmologist Dr Prakash Kankaria and paraded him in the Ahmednagar on December 24, 2008.
The doctors’ lobby groups have been campaigning for a law for better security for over a year now.
A bill to protect doctors, the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage of Property) Act, 2008, was to be introduced in during the Assembly’s winter session, but was postponed due to the terror attack and the government revamp.
It is now likely to be introduced in the Budget session in March. The associations are lobbying to get an ordinance passed till then.
“Patients’ relatives can still assault doctors and get away with it,” said Dr Lalit Kapoor, trustee of the AMC.