Medical services at government-run hospitals in the city were severely hit today as over 20,000 doctors proceeded on mass casual leave in solidarity with their counterparts in Maharashtra who are protesting assaults on colleagues by kin of patients.
Resident doctors from around 40 government hospitals, including RML, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital stayed away from work, while those at AIIMS continued with their protest against assaults on doctors by wearing helmets at work for the second day.
Though emergency services at hospitals were not affected due to strike, the functioning of out patient departments and other services were hit with doctors abstaining from work.
A number of private hospitals, including Sir Ganga Ram hospital on Thursday said they have decided to extend support to agitating doctors in Maharashtra and their OPD services will not be available on Friday.
Dr Pankaj Solanki, president, The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA)The decision has been taken in view of increasing incidents of assaults on doctors and also to show solidarity towards our colleagues in Maharashtra. We also condemn the action taken by the Maharashtra government against the doctors.
FORDA is an umbrella body of all residents doctors in Delhi.
In AIIMS, around 1,200 resident doctors on Wednesday turned up on duty expressing solidarity with their striking counterparts in Maharashtra. They have decided to continue this novel protest tomorrow as well.
"Nobody bothers about resident doctors who were brutally beaten up. Instead of providing security to resident doctors at their workplace, the Maharashtra government is threatening them of deducting their salaries and throwing them out of their hostels," President of Resident doctors' Association of AIIMS Dr Vijay Gurjar said.
We, the resident doctors at AIIMS, will work with helmets on in the emergency department tomorrow as well.
Over 4,000 resident doctors in Maharashtra have been staying away from work since Monday demanding better security at hospitals in the wake of a string of attacks on their colleagues in the state.
Nearly 40,000 doctors – all members of the Maharashtra chapter of the Indian Medical Association – too decided to cease work and join the resident doctors in their strike.
On Thursday, the Maharashtra government has ordered the striking doctors to report to duty by this evening or lose six months' salary.
Bombay High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur had on Wednesday said, "If you (doctors) do not want to work, then resign. You are not factory workers that you will resort to such protests. Shame on you. How can doctors behave in such a manner?"