Despite HC & govt warning, doctors to continue strike

Do not fall ill as 40,000 private doctors in Maharashtra, along with resident doctors and senior doctors in public hospitals, are on an indefinite strike to protest rising assaults on doctors

Despite HC & govt warning, doctors to continue strike
Nearly 40,000 doctors are on strike across the state saying they are afraid to treat patients following the assault cases reported from across Maharashtra

Do not fall ill as 40,000 private doctors in Maharashtra, along with resident doctors and senior doctors in public hospitals, are on an indefinite strike to protest rising assaults on doctors.

While around 4,500 resident doctors from 14 medical colleges went on indefinite leave from March 20, Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Maharashtra chapter joined the agitation on March 22.

IMA representative said IMA Maharashtra state’s 40,000 doctors will be on indefinite strike and only conduct emergency services.

“All outdoor patient departments and elective surgeries will be shut till further notice in support of suspension of residents and attack on doctors in the state. Only emergency services will continue,” said Dr Shivkumar Utture, treasurer, IMA.

Representatives of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had met Girish Mahajan, Minister of Medical Education on March 22 evening.

“Everything was decided and agreed by the MARD representatives. I had promised them 500 security guards in 8 days and 600 security guards a week later. Their other demands too were agreed upon. Then why continue with the strike and cause inconvenience to poor patients,” said Mahajan.

Among the several demands accepted by the minister were: state will pay for the treatment of doctors if the doctors has been beaten up while working, security committee will be set up, every 3 months committee will take review and take preventive measures.  

Minister also agreed on following up with Centre punishment enhancement from 3 years to 7 years under Doctors Protection Act.

It also agreed on providing doctors two months paid leave if diagnosed with TB and same if the doctors delivers baby while she is resident.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, MARD representatives said though they are happy with the assurance given by the minister, going on indefinite leave was individual resident doctor’s decision.

“MARD didn’t call for this strike. It was individual resident doctor’s decision. We have conveyed the minister’s assurance and details of our meeting with him. It will be on individual resident doctors to resume work and not us,” said the MARD representative.

Meanwhile, the administration issued suspension orders for all resident doctors who went on indefinite leave. Municipal corporation medical teachers association also decided to extend its support to the resident doctors. In a meeting held at KEM Hospital on March 22 afternoon, they decided to stop all routine activities from immediate effect.

“We are around 1,400 medical teachers from KEM Hospital, BYL Nair Hospital, LTMG Sion hospital and RN Cooper hospital. We have decided to only carry on emergency services and stop all routine work,” said Dr Rajesh Dere, committee member of the association.