Resident doctors will resume their duties on Saturday after a warning was issued by the Bombay High Court.
The five day strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has claimed the lives of 135 patients in three BMC hospitals due to unavailability of medical services. The state wide death toll of patients has reached 377. More than four thousand doctors had gone on strike in the state. Patients had to face huge hardships due to doctors’ strike as many of them lost their lives. Forty eight patients have died in Sion hospital, 53 in King Edward Memorial Hospital and 34 patients have died in BYL Nair Hospital. The IMA had withdrawn strike after Bombay High Court’s order that if doctors don’t resume their work by Saturday then action can be taken on them by the state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The high court also observed that the doctors were issuing misleading statements. Despite the state government assuring doctors that their security will be enhanced they were unwilling to join work. Even Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan had appealed to doctors to end their strike. Fadnavis also warned of taking strict action against doctors if they failed to call off the strike.
Devendra Fadnavis said, “Enough was enough’ and that continuing the strike despite assurances was totally insensitive. Patients are suffering and people are getting annoyed. Attacks on doctors are wrong, but if despite the written assurances from the government they continue the strike they are being insensitive,” he said.
“They have taken in writing from us that we are accepting their ten demands which include providing 1,100 security guards. These guards will be hired from private agencies run by former police officials at a salary of Rs 20,000 each. The government has sanctioned Rs 33 crore for the purpose,” Girish Mahajan said.
According to Fadnavis, security has been enhanced in 16 hospitals since Thursday and government is further planning to beef up security in the coming 10 days.
Later the Indian Medical Association called of its strike. The association had extended support to striking doctors. They will resume their duties on Saturday after a warning was issued by the Bombay High Court. MARD disassociated itself from the strike, and informed the High Court that they don’t have any objection if action is taken against the striking doctors.
Around 4500 protesting doctors from the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had appealed to the state government beef up security of doctors. On Thursday the High Court ordered striking doctors on strike to resume their duties and provide some time to the government to enhance security.
The High Court also asked the state government to provide security at all government hospitals so that the doctors could perform their duties without fear. It ordered that no punitive action should be taken against the protesting doctors once they rejoin their duties.