Mumbai: After being rapped by the Bombay High Court, almost 3,000 resident doctors from 17 government hospitals in Maharashtra chose to withdraw their mass casual leave agitation with immediate effect, a doctors' body said on Tuesday. But the young doctors remained firm in their demand for adequate security to protect them from recent attacks by enraged relatives of patients in Dhule, and Sion in Mumbai.
Justifying their strike, Sagar Mundada, state president of the Indian Medical Association (Youth), said, "In one week there have been five attacks on resident doctors and they are feeling insecure". He added that the Director General of Police had assured of 400 extra armed policemen being deployed in various hospitals across the city to stop attacks on doctors. "Shame on you. How can doctors behave in such a manner?" the Chief Justice asked.
A public interest writ petition was filed on Monday in Bombay High Court against the doctors' agitation by a social activist Afaq Mandaviya.
The court also observed that if the doctors want to continue their strike then they should stay 100-feet away from hospitals, so that visiting patients can get treatment without any difficulty reports the Hindu.
As a part of the protest, some of the resident doctors have availed leave, while the others are not reporting to duty.
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"There can be some cases of negligence by doctors but mistakes may occur due to allergy, reactions, but every case cannot be negligence". 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.
Henceforth, only two relatives of any patient shall be permitted with special passes and those found without the valid passes shall be prosecuted, said Additional Municipal Commissioner I.A. Kundan.
Dr Singhvi said the Doctors' Protection Act, 2010, has stringent provisions, but the act has not been used widely by the police in cases of violence against doctors.
A meeting held last night between Maharashtra Principal Secretary for Medical Education, Rajagopal Devara, and representatives of the resident doctors failed to resolve the deadlock.
Simultaneously, the MARD is filing an affidavit in the Mumbai High Court to highlight how its orders on doctors' security and related aspects have allegedly not yet been implemented by the state government.