Mumbai’s JJ Hospital doctors call off strike after four days
State okays demands, approvals issued for increased security, restrictions on visitors of patientmumbai Updated: May 23, 2018 10:50 IST
Resident doctors at JJ Hospital called off their strike on Tuesday after the state agreed to their demands of better security and improved living conditions. The state has also agreed to bear any legal costs victim doctors may incur because of attacks.
“We have accepted all demands made by Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), and will also replicate the same in all 16 government medical colleges. We understand that our doctors are working under extreme pressure, but emotional turmoil and stress of patients can be addressed effectively to avoid such incidents,” said Medical Education minister Girish Mahajan.
The number of security guards in JJ Hospital will be increased to 310. A tender to set up 234 alarm bells at 76 spots will be floated by May 24, state officials said.
In the future, state hospitals will act as complainants if a doctor is assaulted, reducing the legal burden on the doctors. The state will also take care of the financial burden of legal proceedings.
On Saturday, doctors at JJ Hospital went on strike after two doctors were assaulted by the relatives of a deceased patient. Sion Hospital joined the strike for a day on Monday to show solidarity.
Security for doctors has been a long-standing concern in Maharashtra.
In March 2017, thousands of doctors from government hospitals went on strike and returned to work only after Bombay High Court ordered them to resume duty with immediate effect.
“Our intention to skip work is not to avoid patient care. It’s our prime duty and we never want to compromise on patient’s welfare. But we have the constitutional right to safety,” said Dr Sarang Donarkar, president of MARD.
Dr Donarkar added that the state government will also release ₹1.41crore to replace malfunctioning elevators at hostels and construct extra accommodation for postgraduate resident doctors .
“When postgraduate seats were increased by 60 two years ago, we started falling short of living space . The state officials have promised to create extra room at Old Boys Hostel and R M Bhatt Hostel temporarily and build additional hostels as permanent solutions,” said Dr Donarkar.