40,000 Delhi doctors on mass casual leave to protest assaults

New Delhi: Over 40,000 resident doctors in the national capital went on a mass casual leave on Thursday in support of their counterparts in Maharashtra who are on similar protest following rising assaults.
According to hospital authorities, the mass protest started at 9 am and was expected to end at 4 pm.
However, those resident doctors whose duty has been assigned in the emergency ward are not participating.
Among the top hospitals of Delhi whose resident doctors joined the protest are All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital, apart from other Delhi government hospitals and medical institutions under the civic bodies.
Doctors at AIIMS on Wednesday had also staged a protest by wearing black badge on their arms and donning black helmets while on duties against the rising assault cases on resident doctors.
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered all striking doctors in government-run hospitals to return to work immediately, and asked the Maharashtra government to provide them adequate security to ensure they can work without fear of violence.
The court also asked the authorities to make provisions to permit only two relatives per patient inside the hospital and said the government should deploy the assured security personnel at various hospitals.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), whose around 4,000 members went on a mass casual leave agitation since Monday in all public hospitals, filed an affidavit with the high court that the resident doctors were prepared to work but the government and hospitals should assure them of safety and security.
Making his first comments on the issue, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday appealed to all doctors and organisations like MARD and Indian Medical Association (IMA) to withdraw their protest and assured better security and law enforcement.
“The ongoing doctors agitation has caused lot of inconvenience to the people, especially poor patients, who are being deprived of medical care,” he said in the state legislature.
The agitation by MARD continued for the fourth day on Thursday.