Doctors stir in Maharashtra is hurting the patients more than anyone else. Thought BMC has given notice to 500 resident doctors to resume work or face action, the strike is only worsening with Indian Medical Association (IMA) also threatening to join the strike. Even though the strike started to protest against doctors being roughed up by patients’ kin in four separate cases in one week alone, the profession of doctors calls for á responsible behaviour. There are really no reasons good enough for the doctors to give up their work as it puts thousands of common people into difficulty.
And its not one day but three days already for the doctors striking work. Despite pleas by the Mumbai Mayor and civic administration, the doctors are not only refusing to call off the strike but also get more doctors into the striking orbit. How unethical that can be as hospital sector falls under essential services according to the United Nations International Labour Organisation.
This is notwithstanding the fact that two of the doctor’s demands have been met already: allowing only two relatives of a patient to go inside, and setting up alarm bell system. However, their third demand of setting up vigilance committee needs some time to fulfil. Even the newly-elected Mayor also said that the corporation was going to hire 700 guards for security at hospitals.
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So the civic administration has promised to do everything to ensure the security of the doctors and the doctors must cancel their leave in the larger interest of the society.
However, we do recognise that the healthcare in India is in inadeuqate and inferior. The figures testify to this. Indian government spends 1.15% of its GDP on public healthcare, among the lowest in the world. Last week, the government introduced a new national health bill that promises to increase that figure to 2.5%, but India’s state-run hospitals are notoriously under-resourced and struggle to meet demands. At the hospitals there are 2 million patients per month. And the doctors are not equipped to handle that load. But all those are long-term issues, and the government must take care of all this in due course of time. IN the immediate run, the doctors must call of the strike immediately without any excuses!