The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) confirmed a state-wide indefinite strike on Sunday. Earlier in the day, resident doctors and students of King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM) had staged a protest after angry kin of a three-year-old child who died due to dengue fever allegedly assaulted three of their colleagues on Friday.
This means over 4,500 resident doctors from the state and 800 from KEM hospital will go on strike from 8 pm on Sunday. The strike is also for long-pending demands related to the security of staff, including the installation of CCTV cameras in the hospital, increase in number of security guards and the introduction of bouncers.
On Saturday, MARD members and KEM hospital authorities had a meeting with state school education, higher and technical education, medical education, Marathi bhasha departments and cultural affairs minister Vinod Tawde on the issue. However, despite the meet, MARD has decided to go ahead with the strike.
Dr Sagar Mundada, president of MARD, said, “Assaults on doctors have become a frequent affair and our demand for doctors’ safety in hospitals is still not fulfilled by the government, despite repeated requests. Hence we have planned to go on a state-wide indefinite strike.”
It should be noted that the strike comes at a time when large numbers of people in Mumbai and neighbouring cities will hit the streets on Sunday to witness Ganpati Visarjan. With doctors going on strike, attendance to medical crises in government-run hospitals will be affected. However, speaking to sunday mid-day, Dean of KEM hospital Dr Avinash Supe, claimed, “We have a back-up and there is nothing much to worry about as we are prepared to deal with emergency cases.”
“The hospitals might deal with emergency cases, however general patients who depend on government run hospitals for basic treatment would be most affected due to the strike,” said Saiesh Chodankar, a resident of Dadar.
CCTV inside KEM
Meanwhile, on Saturday, after meeting MARD and KEM authorities, Tawde has promised that CCTV cameras would be installed inside KEM across 32 important locations by October 30.