Hours after the Bombay High Court Thursday ordered all doctors on strike to resume work, the Association of Resident Doctors has said that the judge did not sign the order after the hearing and thus it has not been uploaded on the court website. “Since we do not have the printed order with us, we are in no position to decide about our further stand,” it said. The association also iterated that their mass leave will continue until Friday.
The court had simultaneously directed the Maharashtra government to provide adequate security at all government hospitals to ensure they can continue working without fear. The Bombay High Court Chief Justice also observed that punitive action should not be taken against doctors who have resumed work. The matter will be heard again in 15 days.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), meanwhile, filed an affidavit in the court stating that they are ready to work but want to be assured of their safety from the government and administration. So far, 297 resident doctors have resumed work but the majority of them are continuing with the strike.
The Bombay High Court’s observation comes in the wake of a mass protest in the state, which began on Monday. More than 1,000 doctors are protesting incidents of assault on doctors by patients’ families, and are demanding better security at hospitals. Further, the court was also responding to the notices served to resident doctors across the state. 272 residents from B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital were “expelled” for failing to resume duty.
A fresh attack against a resident doctor took place on Wednesday night by a patient’s relatives at Sion Hospital. A police complaint was filed against three women for allegedly assaulting a senior pediatric. It’s the second case in Sion this week.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis broke his silence on the issue Thursday, condemning the attacks on doctors. Making an ardent appeal to all doctor organisations to withdraw their indefinite strike, he reassured that the government will provide better security and enforcements.
“I would also like to state that doctors ongoing strike has caused lot of inconvenience to people specially the poor patients who are deprived of medical treatment,” he said, speaking in the state legislative assembly.
The state government Tuesday told the court that medical services are paralysed in the state as 60 per cent of its resident doctors are on strike.
Meanwhile, in a show of support to their counterparts, doctors in the national capital carried out a strike Thursday. Doctors from nearly 40 government hospitals, including those run by civic bodies, planned mass leave. However, doctors on emergency duty will continue to work.
“We, the resident doctors at AIIMS, will work with helmets in the emergency department on Thursday as well. Nobody bothers about resident doctors who were brutally beaten up,” said Dr Vijay Gurjar, president of Resident Doctors’ Association of AIIMS, “Instead of providing security to resident doctors at their workplace, the Maharashtra government is threatening them of deducting their salaries and throwing them out of their hostels.”