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Strike called off in Maharashtra, but doctors still to resume work

March 24, 2017 11:41 IST

Resident doctors in Maharashtra are yet to resume work despite an appeal by an association representing them to join duty and intervention of the Bombay high court.

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With the doctors not returning to work, functioning of the out-patient departments and general wards in the government and the civic hospitals are likely to be affected on Friday as well.

“The OPDs in KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals have not yet become fully operational. Some doctors are managing them but it has increased the waiting period for patients,” Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital said.

Asked about the striking doctors resuming duty, Supe said, “Very few have returned to work. Hence, full medical services will not be available immediately.”

The high court had on Thursday directed the resident doctors to resume work immediately. However, the order was not available on the HC website till last night and therefore protesting doctors decided to wait.

After the court order, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors late Thursday night appealed to the striking medical practitioners to join duty.

“The order is now available on the HC website and we find it satisfactory. Now, there is a meeting scheduled with some state ministers at 1 pm today where we will discuss the issue (about their safety) once again,” said Dr Swapnil Meshram, general secretary of MARD.

After holding a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, the doctors decided to wait for a copy of the minutes before taking a call on joining duty.

In a bid to end the strike, Fadnavis proposed setting up a panel to resolve security issues in state-run hospitals.

“We have been fooled in the past when promises and assurances made by officials were not strictly implemented. This time we are being careful,” said a MARD official,
explaining the delay in the doctors returning to work.

Nearly 4,000 resident doctors have stayed away from work since Monday, demanding enhanced security in the wake of a string of attacks on their colleagues by patients’ relatives at government hospitals across the state.

Images: Patients wait outside KEM and Sion Hospital in Mumbai as resident doctors haven't resumed duty even though the strike has been called off. Photographs: Sahil Salvi/Rediff.com

 

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