Resident doctors continue to abstain from work for the second day on Tuesday across major civic hospitals in Mumbai, affecting thousands of patients. However, out-patient department (OPD) is open only for emergency services.
Doctors are protesting against assaults by relatives of patients and have demanded a higher security. They are not calling it ‘strike’ owing to a court ruling.
Five cases of assaults on doctors have been reported across the state in the past two weeks.
While many doctors had a meeting with the mayor on Monday, they said that the assurances of their safety given to them by civic officials were inadequate.
“They have given us assurances, but no changes have been implemented yet. The mass bunk will continue,” a resident doctor from LTMG Sion Hospital told HT on Tuesday morning, where 300 resident doctors are skipping work.
Sagar Mundada, president, Indian Medical Association (youth wing), said authorities have to implement the ‘two relatives per patient’ rule right away.
On Monday, mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had already spoken to the director general of police to provide 400 armed police personnel to civic hospitals from Saturday.
“This will be increased to 700 armed personnel from April 1,” Mahadeshwar said. Civic officials said currently there are 432 security personnel deployed at hospitals.
In a press briefing, the mayor also said the BMC has accepted their demands of allowing on two relatives per patient in the hospital with immediate effect. “We have also agreed to their demand of installing alarm systems in hospitals to alert security guards in the wake of such instances,” Mahadeshwar said.
Meanwhile, patient services at LTMG Sion Hospital were affected on Monday as a result of the ‘mass bunk’. Many patients were turned away as the OPD and emergency wards were shut.