Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

Maharashtra Doctors Strike; Appeal for Safety

Maharashtra Doctors Strike; Appeal for Safety

A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by social activist Afak Mandaviya, seeking action against the protesting doctors.

Mumbai: Following strong observations by the Bombay High Court, almost 3,000 resident doctors of 17 government hospitals in Maharashtra have chose to call off their mass casual leave agitation with immediate effect, the doctors' association said here on Tuesday.

Medical services in 17 government hospitals in Maharashtra, including four in Mumbai, were severely affected because of the strike.

The court directed the hospital management to take action in accordance with law against such doctors including contempt action as they were disobeying earlier court undertakings where they had said they would not go on strike in such situations. "This led to an argument between the intern and the patient's relatives, leading to an assault", said the authorities.The incident sparked a widespread protest as all the doctors and nursing staff assembled and demanded stern action in the incident.The GMCH OPD was closed on Monday due to public holiday.

Advocate Suresh Pakale appearing for the corporation also assured the high court that it had taken necessary security steps to prevent any incidents of assault on doctors. The judges also questioned the rationale for resident doctors staying away from work when senior doctors in the same government hospitals felt safe.

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ANI reported a crowd outside Mumbai's Sion Hospital as resident doctors continued their strike on Monday. The audacious attack sparked protests by medical and doctors' associations across the country. "It looks like we will have to return next week", he said.

Advocate Datta Mane arguing for the petitioner said "Till now around 58 patients across the state have died because of the doctors not resuming on duty".

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) told the bench that the protest was not called by it and that it had rather urged all the doctors to report to work. Another doctor said the accused arrested for attacking the doctor at Sion hospital had been let off on bail in 24 hours, and demanded his rearrest.

The court came down heavily on the doctors and compared them to "factory workers" for launching the agitation that has nearly paralysed public healthcare system in India's second biggest state.

"There can be some cases of negligence by doctors but mistakes may occur due to allergy, reactions, but every case cannot be negligence".

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