Doctors’ strike enters fourth day, cripples health care in Maharashtra

While nearly 2,000 resident doctors received expulsion notices from their deans on Wednesday night, they said their strike will continue today, for the fourth day.

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2017 10:51 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Patients and their relatives neat the OPD at Sion Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

A day after the Maharashtra medical education department issued 2,000 expulsion notices to them, protesting junior doctors on Thursday said their strike will continue for the fourth day.

Patient services across government hospitals are being affected, with out-patient departments running with an inadequate staff.

In another blow to health care services in Maharashtra, the Indian Medical Association backed 4,500 junior doctors’ agitation.

In solidarity with their counterparts, doctors at major government hospitals in Delhi have also threatened to go on mass casual leave. Some doctors in the national capital wore black helmets in a symbolic protest against assaults.

“We received eviction notices last night (Wednesday), but the strike will continue,” said a resident doctor from LTMG Sion Hospital, where a new case of assault on a female doctor was reported on Wednesday evening. This is the seventh such case in Maharashtra in the last fortnight.

The faculty of KEM, Nair and Sion hospitals will meet today to decide if they too want to join the students’ protests.

On Wednesday, Maharashtra medical and education minister Girish Mahajan warned agitating doctors to join duty by Wednesday evening or face stern action, including a six-month salary cut . “We have informed the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) to ask their doctors to resume duty by 8pm tonight (Wednesday), else get ready to face six months’ salary cut,” the minister declared. But the announcement failed to persuade medicos as more attacks were reported on Wednesday evening.

The protestors are asking the state government to ramp up security at government hospitals.

Junior doctors in the state have been protesting the rise in violence against them by relatives of patients for the last four days.

Meanwhile, the Bombay high court is likely to hear the case on Thursday afternoon. It had on Tuesday slammed resident doctors for the strike and granted liberty to hospital management to take action against them. “You are not fit to be doctors,” the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Girish Kulkarni had said. “You are fit to be an ordinary factory worker if you insist that you will not resume work until your demands are fulfilled,” the bench had observed.

Here is what doctors are demanding

Increase jail term of attackers from existing three years to seven years, under Doctors Protection Act, 2010

No bail for accused for at least three months

Form a medical committee to decide how serious a violation is

Enact a strict law to prevent trespassing in hospital

Consider it violation of law if a patient is accompanied by more than two relatives

Suspend security personnel if they fail to prevent an assault on doctors

Release funds to implement the law and appoint a brand ambassador to spread awareness for the safety and security of doctors


Female doctor manhandled in Mumbai hospital

Maharashtra government agrees to demands, but doctors continue protests

First Published: Mar 23, 2017 10:35 IST