Mumbai, March 20

Medical services in 17 government hospitals were disrupted on Monday when over 4,000 resident doctors went on a mass Casual Leave to protest growing incidents of attacks by patients' relatives.

There have been at least five attacks on resident doctors in one week, including two in the past 24 hours, said Indian Medical Association (Youth) state President Sagar Mundada.

"Today we met Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar but we have not got any concrete assurances on our physical safety while on duty," Mundada said, hinting at continuing the agitation on Tuesday.

While assuring that it was the duty of the civic body to ensure security, Mahadeshwar appealed to the medicos to resume duty by this evening failing which the civic body would consider taking action against them.

Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) President Yashowardhan Kabra said the sudden spate of attacks on medicos had left shattered them and "it was difficult to work under such life-threatening conditions".

"There have been attacks on medicos in Mumbai Sion and Wadia hospitals after which our members decided to go on individual action of availing CL," Kabra told IANS.

Simultaneously, the MARD is filing an affidavit in the Bombay High Court to highlight how its orders on doctors' security and related aspects have allegednly not yet been implemented by the state government.

"In fact, last Friday we had planned a day's mass bunking which we cancelled after assurances from the government. But that same night medicos were attacked in Sion Hospital followed by another attack yesterday," Kabra said.

In Mumbai, the government hospitals hit are KEM, Sion LTMG, Nair and Sir JJ Group where a large number of resident doctors work.

Their counterparts in Kolhapur Government Hospital continued to work but sported black bands.

Several thousands of patients were deprived of medicare in the absence of resident doctors though senior doctors and others were handling serious or emergency cases.

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