In a day of dramatic developments, authorities of the B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital issued notices to 272 resident doctors, “expelling” them for failing to resume duty. The process to cancel their post-graduate registration was also initiated. Responding to the move, the local as well as state unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for a shutdown of out patient department (OPD) services at all clinical establishments. “Only emergency services will be attended to,” said Dr Mohan Joshi, president of the IMA’s Pune unit.
Across the state, notices were served on resident doctors for participating in the ‘mass bunk’, and this action led to discussions between the Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan and representatives of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors till late in the evening. In a statement, the central MARD unit stated, “t is time for the country’s doctors to unite and demand the respect which we deserve…. No kind of concession is given to us for the running of our hospitals and nursing homes. Anybody can come and abuse us… we have been trampled massively and we are scared to practice medicine…”
According to Dr Sagar Mundada, IMA’s youth wing chairman, resident doctors have decided to continue the mass bunk.
For the last three days, resident doctors from Pune have joined their counterparts across the state in a mass casual leave, to protest against the recent incidents of violent attacks against doctors.
While as many as 492 doctors, including resident doctors, medical interns and undergraduate students, had participated in the mass casual leave at B J M C, Dr M Tambe, acting dean of the college, said notices have been issued to 292 resident doctors. “Discussions are still underway between the Medical Education Minister and the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors,” he said.
The IMA’s decision to shut down OPD services, to protest the stern action taken by government college authorities, was supported by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecology Society of India, the Dental Association, the Pathology Association and others, said Dr Shiv Utture, member of the executive committee of the Maharashtra Medical Council.
“We have demanded that the Doctors Protection Act 2010 should be implemented properly and concrete steps should be taken to prevent assaults against doctors.The government needs to provide adequate security for doctors…,” said IMA officials.
Later in the day, when Mahajan assured that the resident doctors’ demands will be looked into, the latter sought it in writing.
Dissatisfied with only verbal assurances, the IMA has now decided to shutdown all services, barring emergency ones.
Patients at government hospitals had a harrowing time in the absence of doctors. Admitting that hospital services were partially paralysed, Dr Tambe said assistance has been sought from pre and para-clinical staff.
“We have also requested additional doctors from the Pune Municipal Corporation, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and from the Director of Health services,” said Tambe.