Almost 4,500 Resident doctors across Mumbai and several other parts of Maharashtra went on mass leave on Monday following three incidents of violence in which several of them were where attacked, reports said.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that 4000 resident doctors across the state of Maharashtra had put down their pens and put their stethoscopes aside after a series of assaults were reported from various corners of the state.
A number of Resident Doctors of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) stage a protest against the attack on a doctor in Dhule on March 12. A public interest writ petition was filed on Monday in Bombay High Court against the doctors' agitation by a social activist which is expected to be heard later Tuesday. Although senior doctors were handling serious or emergency cases, an estimated 400 scheduled surgeries had to be postponed on Monday. Life will not come back. "In one week, there have been three incidents of violence across the state", said Dr Sagar Mundada, president of the Indian Medical Association's (IMA) youth wing, referring to the Sion, Dhule and Pune incidents. Although Chief Justice Chellur did not believe this situation was due to the strike but the government pleader, appearing for the state government, told the court that the health care in civic and state-run hospitals was paralysed due to 60 per cent of its workforce not reporting to work. The first will be to promise more security, so patients' kin are deterred from attacking doctors. "It looks like we will have to return next week", he said.
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.
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Over 4,000 resident doctors have been staying away from work since yesterday demanding better security for them at hospitals in the wake of a string of attacks on them.
The bench also came down heavily on the relatives of patients who attack doctors. "There can be some cases of negligence by doctors but every case cannot be of negligence", the court said. Every case can not be due to negligence.
The next hearing has been posted for Wednesday.
After the petitioner's lawyer brought to the court's notice that the MARD had previous 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".