Resident doctors who have been on strike in Maharashtra since Monday, protesting violence against the fraternity and lack of security, called off their strike Friday. Doctors in Sion hospital are expected to resume work today. The Indian Medical Association (Maharashtra branch) is expected to make an announcement by 4.30 pm this evening. Senior officials have said that the strike is likely to be called off by this evening.
The Bombay High Court Thursday ordered all doctors to resume work while directing the government to provide adequate security at government hospitals. The Chief Justice of the court stated that no punitive action should be taken against doctors who participated in the strike. The court will hear the matter again in 15 days.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has given doctors time to take a decision regarding resuming work. Doctors in Nagpur and Aurangabad decided against resuming work immediately.
Further, in the state legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis condemned the attacks on doctors, and personally appealed to them to resume work. He said, “As the head of state, I am willing to plead with doctors with folded hands to get them back to work. But this will be the last time. After this it will be strict action. We cannot show any mercy nor forgive doctors who are leaving patients to die.”
“If doctors are continuing strike leaving patients to die, it shows high degree of insensitivity. It shows they forgot the pledge they take when joining the noble profession,” Fadnavis added.
Around 4,500 resident doctors have been on strike across Maharashtra this week. In a show of solidarity, doctors from other states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and West Bengal have extended their support, demanding better security at hospitals. According to Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, secretary of the Mumbai unit of IMA, even the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin has lent its support.