After six days of continuous strike by JJ Hospital resident doctors, demanding transfer of hospital dean Dr T P Lahane and ophthalmology department head Dr Ragini Parekh, the strike was finally called off Friday, after assurances from Education Minister Vinod Tawde.
On Friday, the government agreed to form a committee headed by a retired High Court judge and two doctors from the Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) to look into the complaints of the resident doctors. The two will be from the ophthalmology department, where the complaint against the doctors first arose.
At least 450 doctors had gone on strike to protest against the dean, claiming they were not allowed to perform any major eye surgeries in the hospital.
On Saturday, a special bench of the Bombay High Court was also called to discuss the issue of the doctors’ strike.
A special holiday bench of the Bombay High Court asked the MARD to immediately call off the indefinite strike Saturday and resume work. The association said it would comply with the court orders.
“The poor and needy patients are not being attended and suffering the most because of the strike by the resident doctors,” said HC Afak Mandaviya, an RTI activist who moved the HC through his lawyer Datta Mane Thursday to seek action against the striking doctors.
The HC accepted a suggestion by MARD to reconstitute a grievance redressal committee after they complained that the existing one comprised the Dean who it had grievances against. The advocate appearing for MARD said the new committee must be headed by a retired HC judge and must include an independent IAS officer. The court would hear this matter Monday.
Mane informed the court that from April 4 to April 6, 13 patients had died in the state-run JJ Hospital. He also said that in one day between 8 am on April 8 to 8 am next day, 11 patients had died in Aurangabad, four in Nanded, eight in Ambejogai, four in Yeotmal and one in Sangli. These figures were, however denied by the advocate appearing for MARD and the government pleader.