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2,800 doctors from Mumbai on token one-day strike

Saturday, June 15, 2019
By A Staff Reporter

Standing in solidarity against the recent brutal attack on junior doctors at a hospital in West Bengal, doctors from Mumbai strike work on Friday.

Around 4,500 resident doctors in Maharashtra, including 2,800 doctors from Mumbai’s J.J. Hospital, KEM Hospital, and Nair Hospital, among others, went on a one-day strike on Friday in solidarity with the ongoing agitation of junior doctors in West Bengal.

Dr. Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist and former President of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) said, "Violence against doctors must end now. We are standing up for doctors basic right to work safely," he added.  

"We will not be treating any patients in routine OPDs or carry out surgeries or take rounds of wards. Doctors posted on emergency duties will not participate in the protest," a resident doctor, who is a member of MARD, said.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since Tuesday demanding better security at the workplace after two of their colleagues were attacked and got seriously injured at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the hospital.The Indian Medical Association has declared Friday "All India Protest Day" against the assault on junior doctors. Central Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) president Kalyani Dongre said that resident doctors, as well as interns, were taking part in the strike. “We had shut our Out Patient Department (OPD), wards and academic services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Emergency services, such as casualty wards and operation theatres, was not be hampered,” Dr. Dongre added.

Nishtha Khatri, president of MARD unit at the government-run KEM Hospital here, said resident doctors and interns from KEM and Seth GS Medical College formed a human chain to protest against the incident at Kolkata hospital. They also wore black dresses and black badges in protest. "In spite of working selflessly day in and day out, doctors are assaulted. We make immense sacrifices, we work really hard so that our patients can sleep in peace, yet we are often soft targets," she said.

The Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI) — that represents over 5,000 medical interns in the State from 21 government medical colleges – and the Municipal Medical Teachers Association, all in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Medical, Dental, OT and PT institutions participated in the strike.

The doctors have demanded deployment of strong and trained security personnel in hospitals for controlling crowds. “Security at government hospitals across the country needs to be strengthened. The current central government, including the Health Minister and Defence Minister, should look into the fraternity’s needs. Courts should enforce strong punishment against the culprits so that there will be no incidents like this henceforth,” said president Hrushikesh Mankar ASMI.

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