The Bombay High Court rapped the striking resident doctors in Maharashtra and asked them to end their four-day strike and report to work immediately.
“Medical attention cannot wait…The doctors’ basic duty is to save lives ” said the court even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis mooted a panel to resolve security issues in state- run hospitals.
“The doctors will have to first go and resume their duty. All other issues can be amicably sorted out gradually,” Justice Manjula Chellur said.
“We understand that the doctors are working in strained and horrible conditions sometimes, but we request them to resume work immediately,” she said.
About four thousand doctors from various government and municipal hospitals are demanding security at work place in the wake of a string of attacks on their colleagues. They also want to restrict the number of relatives visiting the patient once admitted.
As the stir affected health services and put hundreds of patients to hardships.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda also joined Fadnavis in appealing to the resident doctors to get back to work and asked states to take measures to improve security of doctors.
Unfazed by the government’s warning of suspension and cutting their pay, the resident doctors abstained from work for the fourth day on Thursday.
The court said that the doctors can sit with the government and also the state-appointed committee and resolve their disputes. It also directed the government and the management of various hospitals not to take any punitive action against the doctors who were served notice for not resuming their duties.
State Advocate General Rohit Deo informed the High Court that the government has decided to deploy an additional 1,100 armed police personnel from Maharashtra State Security Corporation in all the state and civic-run hospitals.
“The first lot of 500 police personnel will be deployed at hospitals in Mumbai on April 5. The remaining 600 will be deployed at hospitals across the state by April 30,” he said.
“This will be in addition to the already deployed policemen at the hospitals,” Deo said.
The court accepted this statement and asked the doctors to resume work.
“You (doctors) resume work and see if everything is done as assured by the government. We will hear the matter every fortnight and supervise the issue,” the judges said.
The idea of an apex council was mooted at a meeting held by Fadnavis with representatives of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD to discuss the demands of the resident doctors.
Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan, Health Minister Deepak Sawant, DGP Satish Mathur also attended the meeting.
“Fadnavis proposed setting up of an Apex council with Government representatives and doctors, which would meet every three months to resolve the issues arising from time to time,” an official in the Chief Minister’s Office said.
The chief minister also directed the authorities concerned that adequate security be provided to sensitive hospitals with armed policeman and installation of CCTV network.
If the doctors on duty were attacked the expenses for their legal and medical aid would be borne by the Government.
Earlier, in a statement in the state Assembly, Fadnavis urged the doctors to follow their professional ethics by serving the people.
Earlier in the day some doctors Delhi and
(With inputs from PTI)