Doctors would not resort to strike henceforth: MARD assures HC

Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) on Wednesday assured the Bombay High Court that henceforth it would not resort to strike to fulfil the demands of resident doctors in the state and would instead demonstrate their protest in a peaceful manner.

The statement was made by a lawyer of MARD before a division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka which had asked the Association to file an affidavit declaring its stand on the strike resorted by the doctors recently.

The doctors had gone on strike to demand transfer of Dr T P Lahane, Dean of state-run J J Hospital, for not allowing doctors to perform surgeries. However, MARD said it wanted the state government to take adequate security measures for protecting resident doctors who are frequently attacked by relatives of patients who die in hospitals.

The bench then asked acting Advocate General Rohit Dev what measures the state government proposes to take to protect the resident doctors from the attacks by the kin of patients who pass away during treatment of their diseases in hospitals.

The high court asked the acting AG to file an affidavit on or before June 10 on these lines.

In an affidavit, MARD said it had withdrawn its strike after the grievances redressal committee was reconstituted by the high court to include a retired judge as the head of this panel.

MARD further said that under the Constitution of the country they had a right to protest peacefully in support of their demands. Till now, the state has not been able to take steps to give protection to doctors despite repeated requests. In the past one year, there have been five incidents in which doctors have been beaten up by the kin of patients, MARD added.

The state government also needs to improve the working conditions of the doctors as they often contact diseases while treating patients, it said adding instances of tuberculosis is on rise among the doctors.

MARD also said the issues raised by doctors were not attended to by the state government and hence the doctors were forced to go on strike although they never intended to. However, the Association added that it would not resort to strike hereafter.

The high court had last month reconstituted a 7-member grievances redressal committee headed by retired high court judge V C Daga to probe the allegations of MARD against Lahane for not allowing doctors to perform surgeries.

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