4,000 Maharashtra doctors to go on strike after cops assault colleague in Solapur

Policemen assault doctorAround 4,000 doctors across Maharashtra will go on an indefinite strike from Thursday in protest against the alleged assault on a resident doctor in Solapur.

Around 4,000 doctors across Maharashtra will go on an indefinite strike from Thursday in protest against the alleged assault on a resident doctor in Solapur's Civil hospital by three policemen on Tuesday morning. The strike will directly affect work in all public hospitals of the state.

The strike was called after Dr Prashant Patil was thrashed by three local police personnel following an altercation. The policemen apparently asked Dr Patil to immediately attend to a pregnant lady who they had brought in, even as he was helping another patient with a CT scan test.

Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) president Dr Santosh Wakchaure said since Patil was from a surgical ward, he requested them to visit the gynecology ward for delivery. "When he told them that he does not have the expertise to help in delivery and that he was already busy with another patient, they started beating him up," Wakchaure alleged.

"We want the policemen to be suspended since this is a breach of Medical Personnel and Medical Caregivers Protection Act, 2008. One cannot just assault a doctor and go scott free," added Wakchaure. While an FIR has been filed, MARD said the protest will not be called off until action is taken against the three policemen.

Solapur's Civil hospital's dean Dr Ashok Shinde said: "While the protest will hamper our work, we cannot do anything about it." He said the doctors wanted to know why one of them was assaulted for no fault of his.

The protest will impact hospitals across the state as MARD has around 4,000 doctors attached to it, half of them in Mumbai alone. The state has around 10,000 government doctors in all.

Sion hospital dean Dr Avinash Supe admitted that routine work and the out patient department will be affected if the strike continues for long. "For emergency cases, our senior doctors and professors will be available. But they can only tackle a handful of cases. Patients coming to the OPD or for general health issues might face a problem," Supe said.

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