Doctors' stir in Maharashtra set to intensify

Doctors' stir in Maharashtra set to intensify

The stir by around 4,000 resident doctors across Maharashtra, who are on an indefinite strike following an assault on their colleague in Solapur's Civil hospital allegedly by three policemen, continued today.

The agitation, which began yesterday, is expected to intensify after other medicos extended their support to the protest.

"The scheduled surgeries have been put off as a result of the stir. The emergency services and OPD facility is on. However, medical teachers have announced that they will join the strike tomorrow, to support the resident doctors," JJ Hospital Dean Dr T P Lahane told PTI.

"Also, today, representatives of medical officers association gave a notice of strike," he said.As a result of the stir intensifying, the functioning of primary health centres and cottage hospitals across the state would be hampered, Dr Lahane said.

The ongoing strike has hit the work in all the public hospitals of the state. No new admissions would be possible and the old ones would be discharged, he said.

The strike was called after Dr Prashant Patil was allegedly thrashed by three local police personnel following an altercation. The policemen apparently asked Dr Patil to immediately attend to a pregnant lady who they had brought in, even as he was helping another patient with a CT scan test.

Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) sources said as Dr Patil was from a surgical ward, he requested them to visit the gynaecology ward for delivery.

"When he told them that he does not have the expertise to help in delivery and that he was already busy with another patient, they started beating him up," sources said. 

Medical officers have expressed their support for stringent implementation of a legislation which protects doctors from attacks, including those by irate kin of patients.

MARD has said it wants the policemen to be suspended since this is a breach of Medical Personnel and Medical Caregivers Protection Act, 2008. MARD said the protest will not be called off until action is taken against the three policemen.

The protest has impacted hospitals across the state as MARD has around 4,000 doctors attached to it, half of them in Mumbai alone. The state has around 10,000 government doctors in all.

"For emergency cases, senior doctors and professors will be available. But they can only tackle a handful of cases. Patients coming to the OPD or for general health issues might face a problem," sources at the Sion hospital here said.

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