‘Can’t Work Under Fear of Assault’: Mumbai’s Resident Doctors

‘Can’t Work Under Fear of Assault’: Mumbai’s Resident Doctors

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The strike of over 400 resident doctors at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital entered its third day on Monday, 21 May, with doctors saying they’d continue till the Maharashtra government doesn’t agree to their demand for better security.

The doctors refused to work after relatives of a patient attacked two resident doctors, seriously injuring them on Friday night. The entire incident has been captured on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera where the relatives of a patient can be seen thrashing one of the doctors and then proceeding to ransack the hospital ward.

He was physically assaulted, he suffered from a facial fracture and his hand was injured too. Injuries like these are mostly career ending for doctors training to be surgeons.
Dr Saad Shaikh, Resident doctor at JJ Hospital

For Maharashtra’s resident doctors, this is a grim reminder of a spate of such incidents that took place in 2017. Back then, 3,500 resident doctors went on strike for nearly a week, affecting patients across the state. However, not much has changed since then.

The administration is responsible for these incidents. There are no adequate facilities here and relatives are hassled because of this. The resident doctors are forced to face the brunt of their anger. We work for 12 to 24 hours over here and we are the ones who break the news to the families and are forced to face their anger.
Dr Azeem Junaidi, Resident doctor at JJ Hospital

The doctors continue to demand for round the clock security in every ward as promised by the government earlier. Apart from security personnel, they also want panic buttons in all wards for emergency situations.

We were promised 200 to 250 security personnel, the government appointed around 100 of them but at present only 12 to 15 are working in one shift and only 40 have been working right now. So the figure of 250 has not been reached since two years. We are guaranteed alarm systems, that too hasn’t been provided.
Dr Prakhar Jain, Resident doctor at JJ Hospital

“When I had joined the college, I saw that there were security personnel in ample amounts but as days passed by, there has been deterioration in their number. Right now, you can only see a few security personnel and they are not in every ward”, said Dr Kushagra Rahul, who has been a resident doctor at JJ Hospital for a year now.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai police have arrested the four accused of assaulting the doctors. They have been sent to judicial custody.

What’s the state of doctors in other parts of the country? Find out in our series:

Delhi
Bengaluru
Tamil Nadu
Gorakhpur
Bihar
Kolkata

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