Maharashtra resident doctors’ demands met, will they resume work?
Late on Thursday, a section of doctors called off the strike, but shut OPDs and rescheduling of surgeries left patients hassled through the daymumbai Updated: Mar 24, 2017 00:41 IST
A section of resident doctors, late on Thursday, called off their four-day protest, after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis promised a slew of measures to protect them against attacks and the government told the Bombay high court that trained guards will be posted at city hospitals by April 5, and across the state by April 30.
On Thursday, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) told the Bombay high court their members will resume work.
But the Indian Medical Association members and the protesting resident doctors said they will not get back to duty until they get an order copy from the HC — a concrete, written assurance that the security they have demanded will be provided to them.
Soon after MARD got the order copy of the HC on Thursday night, it appealed to its doctors to join work.
MARD representative said the decision of staying absent now lies in the hands of individual resident doctors.
“The HC has commented on the hardships faced by doctors and has assured us adequate security measures. The court also assured vigilance regarding its implementation. As per the HC directive, we representatives of MARD request all resident doctors across Maharashtra to resume duties immediately,” the appeal letter said.
Dr Yashowardhan Kabra, president, Central MARD, said their major concern was that the HC order copy came in only at 9.30pm on Thursday. “As soon as we received the copy, we issued directives to all protesting doctors. Our demands are met, but we are not sure how many residents have resumed duties.”
At the time of going to press, however, all doctors had not resumed duty — around 105 resident doctors of the 2,000 who were protesting did, said Dr Avinash Supe, director, medical education, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Dr TP Lahane from the Sir JJ Group of Hospitals confirmed that 92 residents were on duty, but nobody else had joined or gone on leave.
Until the late-night developments, however, medical services in the city and state remained severely crippled, with poor patients who depend on government hospitals for treatment being hit the worst.
At KEM Hospital, which attends to 7,000 patients in the OPD every day, treated only 292 patients on Thursday.
In the absence of the resident doctors, heads of department, assistant professors, lecturers and interns stepped in and conducted 16 major surgeries and 40 minor surgeries at a hospital that usually does about 170-190 surgeries in 24 hours.
The situation was no different for patients at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central. They complained they were being forced to get discharged.
Relatives of Sanjay Kakde, a Malad resident who has been in the hospital for the past 10 days after he was hit by a cricket ball, said they were being forced to take him away. “They operated on my son. The wounds are still deep. Now, they are asking us to leave as they don’t have enough space. How can we take him home when he is still bedridden?” said Godavari Kakde, his mother. “The doctor who operated told us to sign the discharge papers and we are being forced to leave.”
Earlier in the day, 1,500 faculty members from periphery and tertiary hospitals in Mumbai served a 48-hour notice to implement the protesting doctors’ demands or face mass resignation. The officials said their decision comes after the Bombay HC on said, “If you (doctors) do not want to work, resign.”
For the past week, across the state, resident doctors have been protesting against attacks on medical professionals by patients’ families.