40,000 doctors on strike in Maharashtra: OPD, non-essential services hit; emergency wards functional

40,000 doctors on strike in Maharashtra: OPD, non-essential services hit; emergency wards functional
While emergency services will be unaffected, OPD services across state hospitals have been suspended in lieu of IMA’s strike call to protest against attacks on doctors in West Bengal (Representational Image, Courtesy: Subhash Pingle)

Over 40,000 doctors in Maharashtra, including thousands from Mumbai, boycotted work on Monday as part of a nation-wide strike call by their apex body IMA. The doctors are protesting over the attack on their colleagues in West Bengal.

According to officials, doctors from various government and private hospitals in the state are mainly boycotting the OPD (Out-Patient Department) and other non-essential health services.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for a strike on Monday, prompting the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country in the wake of the recent assault on doctors in West Bengal.

“Over 40,000 doctors and other medical practitioners in Maharashtra have decided to support their colleagues in West Bengal who are protesting against their Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” an IMA official was quoted as saying.

However, the emergency services will not be affected and those already hospitalised will continue to get all the necessary medication and attention, he said.

IMA Maharashtra’s honorary secretary Dr. Suhas Pingale confirmed that OPD services in various state hospitals have been suspended at in support of the strike call.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.

In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country have decided not to work.

In a statement, the IMA has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors, along with exemplary punishment for perpetrators of violence in accordance with Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The medical body launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, demanding enactment of the central law to check violence against health care workers.

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