Cracking the whip, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered all striking doctors in government-run hospitals to return to work immediately, and asked the Maharashtra government to provide them adequate security to ensure they can work without fear of violence.
The court also asked the authorities to make provisions to permit only two relatives per patient inside the hospital and said the government should deploy the assured security personnel at various hospitals.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), whose around 4,000 members went on a mass casual leave agitation since Monday in all public hospitals, filed an affidavit with the high court that the resident doctors were prepared to work but the government and hospitals should assure them of safety and security.
Making his first comments on the issue, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday appealed to all doctors and organisations like MARD and Indian Medical Association (IMA) to withdraw their protest and assured better security and law enforcement.
“The ongoing doctors agitation has caused lot of inconvenience to the people, especially poor patients, who are being deprived of medical care,” he said in the state legislature.
The agitation by MARD continued for the fourth day on Thursday. Around 40,000 member-doctors of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) working in private hospitals or as general practitioners also joined the protest since Wednesday evening. Doctors at AIIMS in New Delhi and other places also went on token strikes of solidarity.