Over 4,000 resident doctors of 17 government-run hospitals owing allegiance to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) went on a mass casual leave in Mumbai city on Monday, protesting against the frequent bashing up of docs by patients' relatives and the cops turning a blind eye to such incidents. Attacks on doctors took place in Nashik, Dhule, Sion and Aurangabad.
There have been at least five attacks on resident doctors in one week, including two in the past 24 hours, said Indian Medical Association (Youth) state president Sagar Mundada. "He has begun working on this and will suggest security measures to be undertaken for the safety of doctors", he said.
Over 280 doctors abstained from work, which partially affected the functioning of the state-run hospital.
The court directed the hospital management to take action in accordance with law against such doctors including contempt action as they were disobeying earlier court undertakings where they had said they would not go on strike in such situations. "Shame on you. How can doctors behave in such a manner?" "But it is up to the resident doctors to take a decision over this proposal whether to resume the duty or remain away", a senior MARD official said. "The crowd affects the medical services and puts pressure on doctors attending the patients".
The protesting doctors today invited wrath of the Bombay High Court, which observed that their conduct was "shameful" and asked them to resign if they don't want to work. She added, "I don't say doctors don't commit mistakes but, there are complications due to which patients lose their life. Medicos can not take out time and energy for completing formalities if he or she lodges complaint", a resident doctor said.
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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it will hear the junior doctors' mass leave matter tomorrow while asking them to return their duties instantly. While assuring that it was the duty of the civic body to ensure security, Mahadeshwar appealed to the 4,000-plus medicos on casual leave (on Monday) to resume duties or BMC would consider initiating disciplinary action.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjulla Chellur and Justice GS Kulkarni posted the hearing on Wednesday.
Moving forward, the government will issue special visiting passes for only two relatives per patient.
Implementation of Doctor Protection Act 2010 to avoid such instances in future.