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Striking doctors should face action now: HC

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Protesting doctors don't seem to be getting any relief from either the judiciary or the government.

Hundreds of doctors went on strike in New Delhi as well, many wearing helmets to call attention to the violent attacks.

On Thursday, the Maharashtra Chief Minister appealed to the doctors to resume their work and the government will do its duty to provide them security. Bombay HC on Thursday passed the order to MARD that they should resume work and give some time to authorities to get decorum in place.

Poor patients in western India were unable to access care for a fourth day as doctors at state hospitals extended a strike protesting assaults by patients' families, adding pressure to an overburdened public healthcare system.

At least 38 patients died in Mumbai's Sion Hospital yesterday, the lawyer representing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed the high court during the hearing.

In a meeting, the chief minister brief the IMA representatives about the steps the government has taken to ensure the safety of doctors at hospitals.

Both MARD and the Indian Medical Association welcomed the high court ruling but pointed out that on-the-ground realities have not yet changed.

In a bid to end the strike, Fadnavis proposed setting up a panel to resolve security issues in state-run hospitals.

Due to the manpower crunch, senior doctors and nurses are bearing the burden. "The workload has increased by 60 per cent since the start of the strike". The state wide death toll of patients has reached 377. Some doctors resumed their work on Tuesday, but many did not. "Probably, they have forgotten their pledge they take while joining the noble profession", he said.

According to Mumbai Mirror, 53 doctors have been attacked over the past couple of years, but no action has been taken.

The MARD said that the Bombay High Court was sympathetic to the doctors concerns about physical security and related issues, and would assess the situation every 15 days. "Their working conditions are awful; we will be hearing the matter on a fortnightly basis from now on to monitor the situation".

"If this is the attitude of the doctors, the respective hospital management can initiate suitable action against them and terminate their services", warned the bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni today.

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