The Bombay High Court on Saturday directed the striking resident doctors to resume work, promising an investigation into their allegations by a high-level committee. Following the assurance, the doctors withdrew their strike.
JJ Hospital's resident doctors had gone on strike on April 3 to protest the functioning of the opthalmology department. The had alleged that dean Dr TP Lahane and head of the opthalmology department Dr Ragini Parekh had been abusive towards resident doctors and have snatched their opportunities to operate on patients.
The HC took up a PIL - which stated that the strike had lead to the deaths of 13 patients died in the city, 11 in Aurangabad, four in Yavatmal and one in Sangli - on the issue on Saturday despite it being a holiday due to the gravity of the situation and the effect of the absence of doctors on patient care.
State pleader Purnima Kantharia told the court that government would not act against the striking doctors, provided they resume work. The state also assured them that a committee would be set up to probe their allegations.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, which is supporting the JJ Hospital doctors' strike, had demanded the formation of such a committee, but had insisted that no one from the JJ Hospital management should be a member of it.
"You go back to work. The inquiry will set up. Don't worry; don't create problems for patients," Justice Ranjit More told the doctors.