In the wake of the Maharashtra doctors strike that was started to protest the increasing attacks on them in hospitals, medics from other regions have highlighted their solidarity with the cause – provision of a safe working environment. In an unique method of protest against the attacks, resident doctors at All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi wore helmets on Wednesday. The doctors continued their services in the hospital wearing helmets and when questioned, they responded by saying this was just a “precautionary measure” against attacks. In last few days, Maharashtra witnessed a series of assaults on doctors and hospital staff including in Dhule, Shirpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Mumbai. On Sunday, a junior doctor was attacked in Aurangabad’s government medical college and the violent nature of the attack enraged resident doctors across the state and they reponded by striking work. However, AIIMS doctors have not discontinued their work and are serving patients, the only difference is that they are doing so while wearing helmets on their heads to mark the protest.
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The attack first grabbed attention on March 12, a resident doctor was brutally thrashed by a mob of over 20 people in Dhule Civil Hospital. In a similar incident, on March 14, the family of a deceased pregnant woman vandalised a hospital in Shirpur, while three hospital employees of Nashik civil Hospital were attacked on March 18 by the relatives of a patient. This angered the doctors of the state who went on mass leave in protest against the rising assaults against them in hospitals, on Monday. After two days of protest, taking a strong action, Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan on Wednesday asked them to resume their duties by 8 pm today or face suspension, reported The Indian Express. Deans of various colleges are even threatening to deduct six months of pay if the doctors don’t end their strike immediately.
Meanwhile, the AIIMS resident doctors appealed to common people to maintain their trust in their profession. Dr Harjit Singh, General Secretary of the Resident Doctors’ Association of AIIMS, Delhi told news agency ANI, “We support doctors of Maharashtra & request people to have faith in our profession.”