Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike?
Around 4000 doctors from the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) were on strike with a demand to ramp their security in order to protect them against rising cases of violent attacks on doctors by relatives of patients all over the country. About 40,000 doctors from the private hospitals joined in and that’s when the government knew they had to do something about it. Soon after, doctors of other states also extended support to the protest.
This incident did create chaos in the city as patients suffered from lack of treatment. Bombay High Court ordered to call off the strike and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requested the doctors to quit the strike and resume work. Was it ethical on the part of these doctors to go on strike and ignore their call of duty?Yes1. The rising cases of attack
The rising cases of attacks on doctors by disgruntled relative of patients clearly showed that there was lack of security coverage for them even after all the reported incidents. The government has long ignored their peaceful pleas. They were left with no other option than to call strike to draw the attention of the state and centre government towards the issue.2. Serious injuries
These were not simple cases of hit out of frustration. Some of these attacks were violent enough to result in serious injuries to eyes and other body parts of doctors. They are meant to save lives, agreed, but they do not carry the onus of giving their life at the expense of the relative’s agony. People have to understand and respect that doctors are not playing gods in there.3. Mid protest attacks
A lady doctor in Sion and another doctor in Dhule were seriously injured in such violent attacks even when the protest and strike were going on. This shows the lack of people’s consideration and respect for the medical professionals. What other options did the doctors had than to sit strike? The ones that kept serving amid the lack of doctors in the city were treated with such insult and injury that it left ethics unquestioned.No1. Duty should come first
Doctors pledge to keep their duty of saving lives of people above everything else. These doctors on strike are breaking their pledge and like common factory workers sitting on strike at the expense of the healthcare of common people who would suffer unnecessarily.2. Shortage of doctors
Doctors in large number from both private and public sector sitting on strike has taken a big toll on the healthcare of people in the city. 60 percent of the doctors in a city are on strike, majority of who are from government hospitals where poor people line up for treatment. These are the people who cannot afford private hospitals. Letting them suffer is unethical on the part of doctors.3. Emergency units are suffering
Doctors on strike are well aware that their absence could mean serious shortage of treatment at emergency health services, including taking care of accident patients, surgeries and providing post-operative care to those admitted in various hospitals and OPDs. They continued to be on strike even as the matter was being looked into by the court.4. Viral
The strike went viral. It caught up doctors in other states too. Resident doctors from around 40 government hospitals, including Ram Manohar Lohia, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital did not attend work. Doctors at AIIMS extended support by wearing helmets at work. Delhi witnessed strike of doctors even from Private hospitals. Sir Ganga Ram hospital close