On March 12, 35-year-old resident doctor Rohan Mhamunkar was brutally assaulted by a group of relatives of an accident victim at Maharashtra’s Dhule Civil Hospital. Within two weeks, four more doctors in the state were attacked in separate incidents — one of them being civic-run Sion hospital in Mumbai.
The violence sparked a mass strike, with nearly 4,000 resident doctors protesting against the lack of security in all government and civic hospitals. Doctors in Delhi decided to go on strike on Thursday in solidarity.
According to Mumbai Mirror, 53 doctors have been attacked over the past couple of years, but no action has been taken. The absence of the doctors has, however, badly hit 18 hospitals affiliated to medical colleges in Mumbai.
Both civic hospitals and Girish Mahajan, Maharashtra’s minister for medical education, have responded to the demand for the increase of number guards, but Mahajan has also issued an ultimatum to doctors to return to work.
With an alarmingly low ratio of doctor to patients in India, the shortage of staff is obviously telling on doctors in terms of the pressure they are under.
A police complaint has been registered against three women, who allegedly assaulted the senior pediatric on the night of March 22.
This may further deepen the agitation as the strike enters day four today.