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Services In Govt Hospitals Hit As Doctors Go On Mass Leave

Though emergency services at hospitals were not affected due to strike, the functioning of out patient departments and other services were hit with doctors abstaining from work

Medical services at government-run hospitals in the city were severely hit today as over 20,000 doctors proceeded on mass casual leave in solidarity with their counterparts in Maharashtra who are protesting assaults on colleagues by kin of patients.

Resident doctors from around 40 government hospitals, including RML, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital stayed away from work, while those at AIIMS continued with their protest against assaults on doctors by wearing helmets at work for the second day.

Though emergency services at hospitals were not affected due to strike, the functioning of out patient departments and other services were hit with doctors abstaining from work.

A number of private hospitals, including Sir Ganga Ram hospital today said they have decided to extend support to agitating doctors in Maharashtra and their OPD services will not be available tomorrow.

They said they are extending support to a call by Delhi Medical Association for "OPD bandh".

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has around 2.7 lakh members across the country, has also supported the strike.

The Federation of Resident Doctors Association, FORDA, in a statement said they may consider going on an "indefinite" leave in support of demands by doctors in Maharshtra and a decision to this effect may be taken by Saturday.

"We are waiting for the decision of Maharashtra government, their action will decide our reaction and if required we may have to go for indefinite mass leave after all the RDAs reach a mutual decision by Saturday," said FORDA president Dr Pankaj Solanki.

The Resident doctors will join work tomorrow at the hospitals with black armbands, he said.

"The action (mass causal leave) was taken in view assaults on doctors and also to show solidarity to our colleagues in Maharashtra who have been threatened with salary cuts for not joining duty," said Dr Solanki.

FORDA is an umbrella body of all residents doctors in Delhi.

Dr Rakesh Kumar Gupta, president of DMA, however, said indoor patients and emergency services at hospitals will not be affected.

"The incidents of assault on doctors is rising everyday.

It is occurring both in government as well as private hospitals. Patients and their relatives are taking law into their hands which is not acceptable," state secretary of DMA Dr Ashwani Goyal said.

Unfazed by the Maharashtra government's warning of suspension and cutting their pay, around 4,000 resident doctors abstained from work for the fourth day today demanding enhanced security, in the wake of a string of attacks on doctors by patients' kin at government hospitals in the state.

The Bombay High Court stepped in to end the stir and directed the resident doctors to resume work immediately even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis mooted a panel to resolve security issues in state-run hospitals.

The HC observed that "medical attention" cannot wait, adding the profession of doctors is so "sacred" that they cannot afford to go on strike.

Union Health Minister J P 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.

(PTI)


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