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Bombay High Court asks protesting doctors to join work or face action

Bombay High Court asks protesting doctors to join work or face action

Resident Doctors in Mumbai and part of Maharashtra went on mass leave protesting attacks of their colleagues at government run Sion Hospital and Dhule Civil Hospital.

Recently, a resident doctor of a government hospital in Dhule and a doctor at the BMC-run Sion hospital in Mumbai were attacked by the relatives of patients. "This led to an argument between the intern and the patient's relatives, leading to an assault", said the authorities.The incident sparked a widespread protest as all the doctors and nursing staff assembled and demanded stern action in the incident.The GMCH OPD was closed on Monday due to public holiday.

After the petitioner's lawyer brought to the court's notice that the MARD had past year assured the HC, which was hearing another PIL filed by his client, that it would not call for or go on a strike in the future, the bench said, "If that is the case, then the protesting doctors have committed contempt". While emergency services were not disrupted, other functioning of the hospitals nearly came to a full stop as angry doctors refused to join back work.

The court directed the hospital management to take action in accordance with law against such doctors including contempt action as they were disobeying earlier court undertakings where they had said they would not go on strike in such situations.

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When MARD lawyer Prashant Pophale told the court that there have been three incidents wherein relatives of patients have brutally beaten up doctors on duty, the chief justice termed it "madness" and wondered, "Why the public anarchy? The crowd affects the medical services and puts pressure on doctors attending the patients". But doctors refused to budge till some of their demands in terms of security were implemented immediately.

On Tuesday, the High Court will hear a petition against the mass leave taken by doctors. But Chief Justice Chellur was of the opinion that the resident doctors can not put the public at large in trouble. Meanwhile, Dr Avinash Supe, Dean, KEM Hospital, Mumbai said all emergency arrangements were made so that patients do not suffer due to the ongoing protests. Every case can not be due to negligence.

Access to only two family members of the patients.

Implementation of Doctor Protection Act 2010 to avoid such instances in future. "This is where the problem begins", said a resident doctor, adding that each of the doctors has skipped work on individual basis as he or she doesn't feel safe to work after a series of attacks on doctors.

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