Day 3: Protest continues despite court order, 1200 doctors from Mumbai receive show cause notice

Day 3: Protest continues despite court order, 1200 doctors from Mumbai receive show cause notice
Doctors protesting against attacks by patients’ relatives

In the wake of the massive inconvenience faced by thousands of patients across the state, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has served show cause notices to as many as 1,200 doctors from the city for abstaining from work.

On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court ordered the doctors to resume duties. Despite that, a majority of resident doctors from public hospitals have taken mass leave today to continue protesting against the recent attacks on their colleagues.

Later, Dr Avinash Supe, Director of Medical Education (BMC) and Dr Pravin Shingare, Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) told a leading daily that they were in the process of issuing notices to doctors per the HC directive.

According to officials, as many as 500 doctors from KEM, 350 from JJ Hospital and 350 from Sion Hospital have received show cause notices from the civic body so far for not reporting to work.

Following the court order, the doctors’ association in the state, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), also refused to lend support to the protest. However, some senior doctors feel that the resident doctors’ demands are justified.

“The senior doctors don’t support the mass leave. But how can resident doctors work if they constantly fear for their life? If authorities would have provided adequate security in the first place, they would not have felt the need to protest. The civic body also needs to own up and tell the court that they failed to meet their end,” said a senior doctor from Sion Hospital.

HC raps doctors:

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday compared medicos with ‘factory workers’ for persisting with their protest and ordered all resident doctors to resume their duties immediately.

It even suggested that the doctors “resign and sit at home” if they felt threatened. “You are are not fit to be doctors,” the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Girish Kulkarni said.

It further directed the Maharashtra government and hospital management to initiate contempt action against resident doctors who continued to remain on strike, adding that the doctors can resign if they don’t want to work.

Meanwhile, the Bombay HC has pushed the hearing on the junior doctors’ mass leave matter for Thursday.

Patients suffer:

Although some doctors have resumed their duties, many continue to be on leave on Wednesday which has led to surgeries getting delayed or cancelled and OPD patients being turned away.

“Mass leave is creating a lot of problems, patients cannot be left alone. Doctors should abide by their duties. It is not considerable,” a relative of a patient in Mumbai told news agency ANI.

“My wife is suffering burn injuries and it’s been four days now. She is not being treated,” said another relative of a patient outside Sion Hospital.

An old man, who had suffered a stroke and was sent back after basic treatment, said, “We have undergone some tests. But there are no doctors. We have been called back after two days.”

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