Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday appealed to the agitating medicos to return to duty as his government had accepted their demands.
“Enough is enough… The doctors must return to duty forthwith, the government has accepted all their demands,” a harried Fadnavis told the medicos on mass leave for the fifth day on Friday.
Making a statement in the assembly, Fadnavis said attacks on doctors were condemnable but the doctors had forgotten their (Hippocratic) oath to serve the sick.
“We have already folded our hands before them (doctors). What more can we do? If you continue to hold the sick at ransom and leave patients to die like this, people won’t consider you as ‘Dev’ (gods) but Danavas (demons),” Fadnavis said.
The Chief Minister made it clear that he would hold “a last, final meeting” with the doctors representatives later on Friday and urge them again with folded hands to resume work.
Fadnavis warned that the government would initiate action against the agitating medicos if they did not relent.
Fadnavis pointed out that within five days, the government would deploy 700 security personnel at government hospitals. More will follow soon.
The Director General of Police has conducted a security audit with senior officers and concluded that “any attack on doctors is an attack on the government”.
Fadnavis’ statement came barely 12 hours after the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) made a pre-midnight appeal to their members to resume work immediately.
The appeal had little or no impact. A majority of the medicos stayed away from work on Friday, availing Casual Leave or other leave. Thousands of patients were left in the lurch in government hospitals across the state.
On Thursday, ordering doctors to join duties immediately, the Bombay High Court told the government and hospitals to provide at least 500 guards in public hospitals by April 5 and the remaining 600 by April 15.
The court said it would monitor the issue of security of medicos at workplaces at regular intervals and posted a PIL for hearing after a fortnight.
Both MARD and the Indian Medical Association have welcomed the court verdict.
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