Bombay HC asks protesting doctors to resume duty immediately

Doctors protest against the attack on a resident doctor in Dhule Civil Hospital in Mumbai on Friday

Resident doctors also weighed upon the fact that the government has not fulfilled their promise of providing armed security guards. "There can be some cases of negligence by doctors but every case cannot be of negligence", the court said. You are not factory workers that you will resort to such protests. HC Chief Justice Manjula Chellur asked.

"We don't feel safe in such situation. Why can not the state protect us?"

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. "How are we expected to deliver quality treatment to patients?" asked a resident doctor at a press conference on Tuesday, organised by the Indian Medical Association.

Advocate Datta Mane arguing for the petitioner said "Till now around 58 patients across the state have died because of the doctors not resuming on duty. The crowd affects the medical services and puts pressure on doctors attending the patients". They have given proper application seeking leave. "In some cases, there are some delays and we feel bad about it, but we are forced to take such step". The bench also described the attacks on doctors as "public anarchy".

The bench also came down heavily on the relatives of patients who attack doctors. Attacks on doctors took place in Nashik, Dhule, Sion and Aurangabad.

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He said the government was keen on increasing the number of doctors in government hospitals and have taken steps towards it.

The MARD, the apex body of resident doctors, has officially distanced itself from the decision of doctors to stay away from the duty. The doctors are demanding better security for them at the hospitals. The court while posting the matter for tomorrow directed the doctors to resume duties immediately.

The main demand of the protesting resident doctors is that the State Government must initiate measures to stop attacks on doctors across the state and stern action against the assaulters.

Hundreds of scheduled surgeries were postponed and serpentine queues of poor patients were witnessed outside government hospitals. "The Court order specifically says that not more than two relatives of a patient can enter the hospital but, there is no security which can keep a tab on the dozens of people from a single family walking into the hospital", said Dr Lokesh Chirwatkar, another resident doctor at Sion Hospital.

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