JJ Hospital doctors continue strike as talks fail to break impasse

Resident doctors of the state-run J J Hospital here continued their strike for the fourth day today against the assault of two of their colleagues following death of a patient. They decided to continue the protest after their talks with authorities concerned failed to break the deadlock, an official said today. The doctors have been on a strike since Saturday, demanding sufficient security in the hospital to protect them against any outrage by patients relatives. They said hospitals were provided security guards following similar incidents earlier, but these personnel were manning the entrances. The protesting doctors held several rounds of meetings with the medical education authorities and the hospitals dean but failed to get a satisfactory response, a senior member of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) said. Unless the security personnel are deployed inside the hospital, we are not going to resume work. We want protection, he said. The protesters had yesterday got the support of their counterparts in the civic-run Sion Hospital who went on a one-day token strike to express solidarity. Two resident doctors, including a woman, of the J J Hospital, located in south Mumbais Byculla area, were allegedly assaulted on May 19 by relatives of Zaida Sanaullah Sheikh (45), after she died while undergoing treatment there. The police had registered a case under IPC sections 353 (assault on public servant), 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapons) and Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Service Act-2010, and arrested four people in connection with the incident. The four, identified as Mohd Altaf Anulahak Shaikh (32), Sony Sanahullah Shah (23), Rihan Sanaullah Shah (22) and Salima Khatun Sanaullah Shah (20), were later remanded in judicial custody till May 31. A spokesperson of the MARD had yesterday said that if the strike gets prolonged, they will run a separate Out- Patient Department (OPD) for patients.