Over 4000 resident doctors on strike in Maharashtra.image courtesy:NaijaOversAbi

Over 4000 resident doctors in Government Hospitals in Maharashtra abstained from duty for the second day today as a part of their protest against attack on their colleagues, partly affecting the state’s healthcare system.

For the second consecutive day, medical services across 17 government hospitals in Maharashtra, including four in Mumbai, were hit. Almost 4,000 resident doctors continued their mass ‘Casual Leave’ on Tuesday to protest against growing incidents of attacks by patients’ relatives.

They have been protesting against some recent incidents, including in Dhule and at the civic-run Sion hospital in Mumbai, where relatives of patients attacked the respective doctors in-charge.

There have been at least five attacks on resident doctors in one week, including two in the past 48 hours, said Indian Medical Association (Youth) state President Sagar Mundada.

However, the emergency health services, including taking care of accident patients, surgeries and providing post-operative care to those admitted in various hospitals, were being maintained by senior doctors,an official of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) said.

On Monday, MARD office-bearers met Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and the BMC announced some tough measures to curb violence against medicos, including limiting the number of relatives who will be permitted to accompany patients.

Henceforth, only two relatives of any patient shall be permitted with special passes and those found without the valid passes shall be prosecuted, said Additional Municipal Commissioner I.A. Kundan.

“The Maharashtra government has moved a proposal of deploying at least 500 security personnel in the first phase at government-run hospitals. The security men would start working from April 1. But it is up to the resident doctors to take a decision over this proposal whether to resume the duty or remain away,” a senior MARD official said.

In Mumbai, the government hospitals hit are KEM Hospital, JJ Hospital, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Nair Hospital, where a large number of resident doctors work.

Several thousands of patients were deprived of medicare though senior doctors and others handled serious or emergency cases, but an estimated 400 scheduled surgeries had to be postponed on Monday.