Over 4000 doctors in Maharashtra continued to strike even as the Indian Medical Association which supported the agitation stood down saying it was satisfied with the assurances of the state government to provide a safer workplace.
Resident doctors at government hospitals in Maharashtra have been on strike since late Sunday, demanding better security; throwing the state’s medical apparatus out of gear and leaving thousands of patients stranded.
The doctors are demanding better and safer working conditions after a spate of violence against doctors by angry relatives of patients.
Around 40,000 doctors in Delhi belonging to the (IMA) had also joined the strike on Thursday but Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, Secretary of the IMA told television channels on Friday that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured the association that better security would be provided.
Fadnavis also reportedly told the IMA that security had been beefed up in 16 hospitals since Thursday and said more security would be provided in the next ten days.
In the state assembly the chief minister gave an ultimatum of sorts to striking doctors saying that continuing the strike despite written assurances from the government was insensitive.
“Patients are suffering and people are getting annoyed. Attacks on doctors are wrong, but if despite the written assurances from the government they continue the strike they are being insensitive,” Fadnavis was reported to have said.
On Thursday the Bombay High Court ordered striking doctors to resume work while asking the government to provide security to doctors in government hospitals.
According to media reports the High Court had observed that the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) should file an affidavit by 3 pm on Friday, failing which the court would initiate contempt proceedings against the association’s president and secretary.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has given doctors time to take a decision regarding resuming work.
Media reports said junior doctors wanted to consult with their lawyer before resuming work.