The medical fraternity seems to be divided on the issue of protests by way of calling off work. February 24 has been declared a No practice Day by some doctors. However,another set will be organising free check-up camps on the same day.
Doctors,nurses,paramedics,radiologists,homeopaths and even selected chemists from across the state,including Mumbai,will stay away from work on February 24 to protest the rise in incidents of attacks on medical practioners and establishments. Doctors will abstain from work from 6 am to 6 pm. All routine procedures and elective work will be put on hold. Thirty seven organisations comprising medical professionals from across the state have joined hands to put pressure on the government to expedite the passing of a bill that promises more protection to doctors.
Dr Ambedkar Medicos Commune,a group of practitioners from various fields,has,however,condemned the idea of a bandh saying ultimately it is the patients who suffer because of any strike. The recently formed commune comprising over 1000 doctors from across the state claims to be an apolitical organisation. The bandh called by the IMA,the consultant association,to condemn attacks on medical professionals is unfortunate as it will adversely affect patients and will be a blow to the already crumbling health system in Maharashtra, said Dr Vijay Surase,cardiologist at Jupiter Hospital and an office bearer of the Ambedkar Medicos Commune.
While a large number of doctors will not be on duty over 1000 doctors attached to some 200 medical institutions from private nursing homes,hospitals and dispensaries across the state,including 25 from Mumbai,will offer free services on Tuesday.
Dr Ambedkar Medical Commune earnestly feels that the situation calls for a comprehensive lasting solution and not knee jerk responses. The commune is leading a delegation to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra next week to discuss this issue, said Dr Tushar Jagpat,dermatologist and chief convener of the commune in Mumbai.
Members of the commune said that the grievances of the doctors is of serious concern but should be dealt with a larger perspective in mind.