A day after Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s appealed to resident doctors to join work or face action, all resident doctors across government medical colleges resumed duty.
The state health department said that by Saturday afternoon, all the 4,500 resident doctors had joined work. The doctors have received a written assurance from the Medical Education department and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) explaining the long and short term plans for doctors’ safety.
Over 312 resident doctors across four medical colleges and 16 peripheral hospitals had resumed their duties until 11.30pm on Friday. Dean of KEM Hospital Dr Avinash Supe said that later in the night, more doctors walked away from the strike and resumed work. By morning almost all the doctors across four medical colleges in Mumbai attached to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College, Sion, B Y L Nair Hospital (Topiwala National Medical College), KEM Hospital (Seth G S Medical College) and D R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital (HBT Medical College) had called off the strike.
Officials stated that no action would be taken against the doctors who have joined work. “The expulsion notices will be condoned since the resident doctors have abided by the norms. Even though the Bombay High Court has given us the power to take any or all action against the doctors, state government has requested to show leniency,” said Idez Kundan, assistant municipal commissioner, BMC.
The high court and the state government had confirmed that no punitive action would be taken against doctors who resume work on Friday at 8 am. Even the resident doctors from other 10 medical colleges outside Mumbai reported to work before 8am.
However, as the six-day long ordeal for patients came to an end, it is to be seen how Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) — the major resident doctor body which has lost its popularity amongst the residents — is able to retain its presence.
The strike had continued for two days after MARD appealed to residents to call off the strike and resume work. There are also talks of a new organisation to be formed under a fresh leadership. “MARD was unable to stand strong and fight for residents and gave in as soon as state government put pressure on them and IMA effectively tackled the issue. We are planning to set up a new committee to replace MARD since it has lost its foothold amongst resident doctors,” said a senior resident from KEM Hospital.