Strike of 4500 resident doctors under the umbrella of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors continued for the day, finally coming to an end after court intervention. The doctors across the state had united to show solidarity to their colleagues working in JJ Hospital. The strike finally came to an end after the intervention of the court.
Doctors of JJ Hospital, one the biggest hospitals of the state had declared strike last Sunday, after students of the optholmology department came out with the complaints of harassment against Dr Lahane, the HOD of the department as well as the dean of the hospital. The doctors are demanding immediate transfer of the concerned doctor and initiation of an enquiry against him.
Friday saw, around 4500 members of MARD joining in the indefinite strike. Government immediately threatened the invoking the MESMA (Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act) but not to much avail. The doctors argued that since the emergency services were not part of the strike, government could not resort to MESMA as no essential services are being hindered.
Since the strike started in JJ, six days ago, it is reported that medical services in the hospital had taken a back seat. Recently RTI activist Afak Anwar Mandaviya filed a PIL in Bombay High Court questioning the strike and claiming that around 8 patients have died since JJ MARD began its strike. As reported by Hindu, The petition claims patients have been told to take discharge from the hospital and new patients are not being admitted for surgeries because of the strike. The petitioner has also said patients have been told to come for treatment when the strike is called off.
Hearing the petition, the high court ordered the doctors to end the strike immediately, while at the same time highlighting the importance Grievance redressal committee to listen to the grievances of the students. The court urged MARD to take up the issues with this cell, which will be headed by a retired High Court judge and an independent officer of IAS cadre. The court has given the next date of 11th April, to further hear the issues of the two parties.
Dr Sagar Mundada, President MARD told Medical Dialogues, ” Today , there was meeting between Tawdeji and MARD. Also, there was hearing in high court .MARD has got what we were hoping, namely
1. Committe headed by retired high court judge ..2.First time in history of mard, two mard members will be part of this committee to ensure that there is a fair investigation.
3.Court has asked government to do everything possible to prevent victimisation of residents in future.
4.The two doctors will not be examiners or teachers for the ophthalmology resident doctors. .
Considering all the above, central mard calls of the mass bunk and resident doctors will resume duties at 6pm.”