Patients across govt hospitals inconvenieced as 4,000 doctors are on mass casual leave

Patients headed to state government- and BMC-run hospitals faced a punishing Monday after 4,000 resident doctors went on mass casual leave to protest recent violence against colleagues. "In one week, there have been three incidents of violence across the state," said Dr Sagar Mundada, president of the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) youth wing, referring to the Sion, Dhule and Pune incidents.

"It's a serious issue and hence, around 4,000 resident doctors attached to government and BMC-run hospitals have gone on mass casual leave. We will not resume work until the government takes measures to increase safety in hospitals for doctors," he added.

A post graduate student, who is also a training doctor at Sion Hospital, was attacked on Saturday by relatives of a 60-year-old, who died dur­ing treatment. In the last two weeks, there have been incidents of violence against doctors in Dhule and Nashik too.

Several women were seen waiting outside the OPD of Sion Hospital with their infants and children. Sanjay Chinkate, who came from Bhiwandi with his specially-abled son, Jai, was also stranded. “We were not aware of the strike. It looks like we will have to return next week,” he said.

Resident doctors, along with IMA youth wing representatives and the Maharashtra Association for Resident Doctors (MARD), were to meet mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar at 1 pm. At the time of going to press, Mahadeshwar said, "We will do everything possible to ensure the safety of doctors. I’d like to appeal to doctors to resume their duty immediately."