Doctors across Maharashtra have been on strike since Sunday.
The Bombay High Court today asked striking resident doctors in Maharashtra to resume work immediately while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appealed to them to call off the four-day stir, assuring security in hospitals.
In Delhi, Union Health Minister JP Nadda asked states to take measures to improve security of doctors. After the High Court's direction and the Chief Minister's appeal, the representatives of the protesting doctors went into a huddle to discuss the directive and the steps to be taken thereof. According to Dr Sagar Mundada, the chairman of the Indian Medical Association's youth wing, a decision on the matter will be taken soon.
Nearly 4,000 resident doctors have been striking since
Sunday, demanding enhanced security in the wake of a string of attacks on doctors by patients' relatives at government hospitals across the state.
The protests have been hampering the services of Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) in various hospitals. The HC asked the doctors to get back to work and resolve their issues and demands amicably with the government.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni gave the directive while hearing a petition filed by activist Afak Mandaviya seeking action against the protesting doctors.
The court also directed the government and management of various hospitals not to take any punitive action against the doctors who were served notice yesterday for not resuming their duties. "The doctors will have to first go and resume their duty. All other issues can be amicably sorted out gradually," Chief Justice 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.
Chief Minister Fadnavis, while making a statement in the state Legislative Assembly on the ongoing strike and its fallout on the public healthcare system, urged the doctors to follow their professional ethics by serving the people.
"Because of the acts of a few irresponsible people of attacking doctors, it is not right to deny the poor their right to access to the medical facilities. I appeal to the doctors and their organisations to call off the strike and return to work," he said.
The government had spoken to representatives of the striking doctors and accepted all their demands, he said. "The state has enacted special laws to protect doctors. The quantum of punishment has been increased and attacks on doctors made a non-bailable offence," the Mr Fadnavis said.