Medical services in Maharashtra are hit badly as doctors across the state have gone on a mass strike today (March 20).
The doctors have bunked work after two resident doctors from Mumbai and Aurangabad were assaulted and beaten up by angry mob of patients’ relatives.
Yashwardhan Kabra, President Central Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), said, “Mass bunk is being observed in many government hospitals and colleges. But, MARD has not announced any strike or mass bunk. It’s a decision taken by doctors in their individual capacity. MARD respects the court order.”
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, a resident doctor associated with Sion Hospital, said, “With rise in attacks on doctors in government medical colleges, and with no adequate security arrangements in place to protect us, we are unable to work here.”
A junior doctor added that safety of their life has become a major concern.
“We can’t concentrate on our work such hostile environment. On individual level, we have decided not to work till the administration ensures our safety and security,” said the doctor.
Timeline of attacks
- Aurangabad: (March 19) An orthopaedic resident doctor beaten up by relatives in Aurangabad GMC
- Mumbai: (March 18): Polio afflicted resident doctor beaten up by patient’s relatives after her death
- Nashik: (March 16): Intern Dr Rahul Patil and a nurse were beaten up
- Dhule (March 12): Dr Rohan Mhamunkar was assaulted
- Shirpur: Earlier this week a doctor’s clinic was ransacked
- Latur: (January 18) An intern doctor was assaulted
With the strike, patient care was hit severely. However, senior doctors tried to keep emergency services working. Also, in their emergency meetings, hospitals ensured that senior doctors are available for emergency services. Large number of patients had thronged outside the government hospitals.
“Outdoor patient departments (OPDs) were shut. We cancelled all elective surgeries. Only emergency operations are being carried out,” said a senior doctor from KEM Hospital, Parel.
Around 300 doctors from Pune participated in mass strike and doctors from Kolhapur condemned the attack by wearing black ribbon on their aprons to show solidarity to their other colleagues.
Taking a serious note of assaults on doctors, Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan said, “State is in process of appointing 1,100 security personnel to guard the doctors across Maharashtra. We condemn the attacks on doctors.”
What Girish Mahajan said in Nashik?
- 1,100 security guards to be appointed
- We condemn attacks on doctors
- Will speak to MARD to understand their grievances
- Meeting are on to discuss doctors issues
In Mumbai’s Sion Hospital, Dr Rohit Kumar, a first-year resident doctor was beaten up on Saturday night by a dead patient’s relatives. Though the security guard were present at the time of the incident, they could not protect the doctor. In another incident, Aurangabad’s Dr Vivek Badge, too, faced relatives’ wrath. Badge was manhandled and abused.
While Dhule’s resident doctor, Dr Rohan Mhamunkar, is still recuperating from his injuries, the fourth attack in a week has left doctors across the state devastated.
However, the mass strike can put doctors in trouble as the Bombay High Court will hear a petition seeking direction for resident doctors across the state to restrain them from going on strike.
Meanwhile, Advocate Datta Mane, who on Monday mentioned a PIL filed by Afaq Mandviya challenging the strike, said, “We have sought direction that doctors’ strike be declared as illegal and restrain them from avoiding duty.”
Last year too, MARD had gone on strike to against physical attack on doctors.
Dr Avinash Supe, Director of Medical Education and Dean at KEM Hospital, along with Indian Medical Association representatives, met Mumbai Mayor and Additional Municipal Commissioner (AMC) today.
“The Mayor has given assurances for better security. They said pass system will be implemented and they will increase the number of security guards, but nothing has been told to us in concrete,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, Youth Wing Chairman, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Maharashtra.
The DGP has given a promise to provide 400 security personnel by Saturday (March 25). The administration is also looking into allowing only two relatives with patients and to make pass system stringent.