Assured more security, resident doctors call off 6-day strike

Some 4,000 doctors belonging to the?Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had gone on a strike after three resident doctors were assaulted by patients' kin in a week's time. Photograph:( Twitter )

ANI Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Mar 25, 2017, 02.44 AM (IST)

Resident doctors in India's western state of Maharashtra Saturday decided to call off a six-day strike to protest the spate of attacks on their colleagues by angry patients' relatives. 

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Some 4,000 doctors belonging to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had gone on a strike after three resident doctors were assaulted by patients' kin in the last seven days.

Besides asking for stronger security services in every hospital, they had also demanded a stronger protection law against them.

The agitation ended after the local government assured the doctors in writing that the security services would be beefed up within the next 15 days.

"Till April 5, there will be temporary force that will then be replaced by Armed Forces of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation," one of the doctors told ANI.

Armed Forces of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation is a special security force engaged in providing better security to various organisations and institutions across Maharashtra.

Dr Amit, who works at Nair Hospital, said the protest prolonged because they wanted the government to assure them in writing.

"The government has accepted all our demands. All the doctors are joining back with immediate effect. The medical representatives of each college will be conveying the same to their respective college after which the doctors will join back their duties," he added.

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Local media reports suggest that about 50 resident doctors have been assaulted by angry relatives of patients in the last 12 months, a figure that had been a sore point in the medical fraternity for a long time.

Earlier on Friday, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called off its strike after the Bombay High Court issued an order that punitive action can be taken against them by the Maharashtra Government and the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) if the doctors do not return to work by tomorrow.

Following the warning, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) earlier in the day assured that they would return to work by 8 am the next day.

Disassociating itself from the strike, the MARD had through an affidavit told the High Court that they don't have any objection if action is taken against the agitating doctors. 

(WION with inputs from ANI)