The Indian Medical Association, the top body of doctors, had called the strike yesterday, offended by the Maharashtra government's 'join work or face action' ultimatum. This morning, doctors of Delhi's premier hospital All India Institute of Medical Sciences expressed solidarity with the striking doctors of Maharashtra. They are expected to join in the strike later today.
At the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital - one of the largest government-owned hospitals in Delhi - more than 1,200 resident doctors are on strike. The doctors say if the administration and authorities do not address their grievances they will issue a call for a pan-India agitation.
The doctors at AIIMS had turned up for work yesterday, but they expressed solidarity with their colleagues in Maharashtra. "We will work with helmets on in the emergency department tomorrow as well," Dr Vijay Gurjar, chief of Resident Doctors' Association at AIIMS, was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
The High Court, where a petition is asking the doctors to join work is pending, will hear the matter again today. On Tuesday, Chief Justice Manjula Chellur had said, "If you (doctors) do not want to work, then resign. You are not factory workers that you will resort to such protests. Shame on you. How can doctors behave in such a manner?"
The civic authorities in Mumbai have served notice to more than 1,000 doctors. Among them are 350 doctors from Sion hospital, where the attack on a doctor by a patient's relatives had triggered the strike. A day before, a similar incident incident had been reported from Dhule.
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