Free Press Journal

Patients suffer as 4,000 doctors go on strike in Mumbai


Mumbai: Jiten Tyagi, a 13-year-old autistic child, had to go back home without his mandatory health check-up at Sion’s Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital on Monday as resident doctors were on strike. And Jiten isn’t alone — there were hundreds of patients in pain outside government hospitals in Mumbai on Monday.

Ramesh, father of 13-year-old Jiten, was understandably upset. “I had come for regular check-up of my son but the security guard did not even allow us to enter the hospital,” he said.

On Tuesday, the High Court will hear a petition against the mass leave taken by doctors.

Over 4,000 resident doctors of 17 government-run hospitals owing allegiance to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) went on a mass casual leave in Mumbai city on Monday, protesting against the frequent bashing up of docs by patients’ relatives and the cops turning a blind eye to such incidents. The junior doctors have threatened to stay away from work on Tuesday if they are not given adequate security.

Justifying their strike, Sagar Mundada, state president of the Indian Medical Association (Youth), said, “In one week there have been five attacks on resident doctors and they are feeling insecure.”

“We met Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and discussed security issues of the doctors. He hasn’t given us any concrete assurances. We have called a meeting of resident doctors to chalk out our future strategy,” Mundada added.

In Nashik, health education minister Girish Mahajan said that a security audit of medical institutions would be undertaken soon by former director-general of police Pravin Dixit. “He has begun working on this and will suggest security measures to be undertaken for the safety of doctors,” he said.