Resign If You Don't Want To Work: High Court To Protesting Doctors

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Medical services in 17 government hospitals in Maharashtra were severely impacted March 20 after over 4,000 resident doctors went on a mass casual leave to protest the growing number of attacks by patients' relatives. With resident doctors forming more than 50 per cent of the overall strength in public hospitals, the services have taken a severe hit.

Hundreds of patients were seriously inconvenienced as hospitals cancelled surgeries and OPDs remained shut due to over 4,000 resident doctors across the state going on mass casual leave in protest. In the last 10 days, five incidents of violence against doctors have come to light.

When MARD's representative argued that it had not called for a strike and that individual doctors had chosen to protest by taking leaves, the bench told the association that it would take "necessary action" against the striking doctors. The court, however, said other permanent staff doctors and nurses were there to attend to patients. Life will not come back. Around 30 people are accused of assaulting the doctor, an attack which left him with an orbital fracture and the likelihood of him losing his vision in one eye. This incident forced the doctors to go on en masse leave beginning from Monday.The GMCH has around 280 resident doctors who will shun their work if the protest continues. "The concerned hospital management should initiate action against them". But nothing concrete has been implemented in terms of security of the doctors,"said Dr. Sagar Mundhada, president of the youth wing of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)". "We have already asked security guards to restrict the number of visitors per patient to two but it has not been easy to do so", he said. He, however, added that the state has done little to protect the doctors. "It also provides that attackers will be made to pay twice the compensation of the damage caused to the institution", he said. The doctors are demanding better security for them at the hospitals.

Moving forward, the government will issue special visiting passes for only two relatives per patient.

"We demand that FIR in connection with assaults and disruption involving medicos must be filed by health institution within 24 hours of such an incident and resident doctors should not be asked to do the same".

Dr Singhvi said dean of government hospitals had a fund at their disposal to hire private security, but it wasn't being fully utilised.

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