Some doctors end strike after Maharashtra CM Fadnavis assures them of more security

Asmita Sarkar
Maharashtra doctors call off strike, resume duty

After Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured resident doctors that government hospitals will have more security, a section of doctors from Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) called off the protest on Thursday night. The strike had been ongoing since Monday and had affected thousands of patients. 

The doctors had been warned with consequences such as six months pay cut, and contempt charges in court. Notices were also served by the BMC on Wednesday. But they did not relent until Fadnavis assured the doctors of their safety. The doctors had gone on a strike after a few colleagues were beaten up by families of patients. 

However, how many doctors will return to work on Friday is not yet known as the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Maharashtra, will be deciding on Friday morning whether they would be returning to work or not. 

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"We need to see the assurances being implemented immediately," said Dr Ashok Tambe, president of IMA said in a statement. 

Fadnavis assured that there will be 1,100 security guards within two weeks at all government hospitals, and free legal and medical aid in case of an assault.

At least three hospitals will get round-the-clock security guards, a state home department source told the Hindustan Times.

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JJ Hospital, KEM and Sion hospitals will get deployment of armed guards from the Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC). Among the nine hospitals across the state, these three will be the first ones to get armed guards.

MARD had assured the Bombay high court that their members will go back to work after the Maharashtra government told the court about increased security.

"The order copy has not been updated on the website. The mass bunk will continue until we get the arrangements in black and white," said a resident doctor from KEM Hospital.

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About 1,500 faculty members from medical colleges from periphery and tertiary care hospitals gave a 48-hour notice of resignation in case the security measures are not deployed.

"We as faculty members support the stand of doctors taken for their own safety at workplace. No emergency services will be affected, but we will stop all the routine work and protest wearing black ribbons. Moreover, if the demands are not met, all of us will submit our resignations on Monday," said Dr Rajesh Dere, president, Municipal Medical Teachers Association. 

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