Maharashtra Doctors Strike; Appeal for Safety

Doctors protest against the attack on a resident doctor in Dhule Civil Hospital in Mumbai on Friday

The development followed strong comments by chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice GS Kulkarni on the doctors' mass casual leave agitation going on for the last two days, following a public interest litigation filed by activist Afaq Madaviya.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday sharply criticised the protesting resident doctors" at government-run hospitals across Maharashtra on the second day of their "strike' for the impact it was having on patients.

The court also directed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government and the civic body to provide adequate security to doctors in all hospitals across Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Pophale pointed out to the court that the doctors are not on strike but only on mass leave and as an association, they have been telling the doctors not to do so.

The bench even slammed the relatives of patients who chose to assault doctors.

With this, the Bombay High Court ordered the striking resident doctors to join work or face action by the management.

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After the petitioner's lawyer brought to the court's notice that the MARD had past year assured the HC, which was hearing another PIL filed by his client, that it would not call for or go on a strike in the future, the bench said, "If that is the case, then the protesting doctors have committed contempt".

ANI reported a crowd outside Mumbai's Sion Hospital as resident doctors continued their strike on Monday. They are not fit to work then. But doctors refused to budge till some of their demands in terms of security were implemented immediately.

To avert recurring attacks on resident doctors 400 police personnel will be deployed for offering security to doctors in the state from Saturday onwards which will be increased to 700 with effect from April 1.

However, the emergency health services, including taking care of accident patients, surgeries and providing post-operative care to those admitted in various hospitals, were being maintained by senior doctors, he said. "Will the dead person's life come back if they kill the doctor", it said.

Dr. Avinash Supe, Dean of KEM Hospital, said manning old hospitals like KEM, Sion, and Nair is a challenge because they have large campuses and multiple entry and exit points. Patients verbally abuse us nearly every day but we don't say anything.

Meanwhile, post lunch, the PIL challenging the doctors strike came on hearing. But every case can not be due to negligence.

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