Around 750 resident doctors at JJ Hospital have gone on indefinite strike seeking that action be taken against Tatya Rao Lahane, former dean and Ragini Parekh, head- ophthalmology department. The two have been accused by the residents of harassing them and acting as dictators.
The residents have been writing to Pallavi Saple, dean of the ophthalmology department, accusing the department of flouting rules regarding establishment of surgical units. As a result of these violations, the junior residents haven’t had a chance to perform any cataract surgeries. What is irking them is that most of the surgeries are being performed by Parekh or Lahane, although the latter retired a few years ago.
On investigating the matter, the violations were found to be true, which lead to some senior faculty members submitting their resignations. Following the inquiry, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) went on strike demanding that the head of department, that is, Parekh, be transferred and Lahane be removed. The protesting doctors are also seeking stipend for some junior residents and the payment of arrears to the senior residents.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Parekh-Lahane due have found mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, for the maximum number of successful cataract surgeries. Denying the allegations by the residents, Lahane is of the opinion that junior doctors cannot be entrusted with cataract surgeries after merely six months of training. Meanwhile, Parekh who also calls the allegations false, appears to have sought voluntary retirement post this incident. She maintains that the students are in the habit of flouting rules and any action taken against them is considered as insulting to them.
Saple, on the other hand, claims that no resignations have been received at all.
The dispute between the faculty and the resident doctors is bound to affect the healthcare system in the state of Maharashtra, as MARD is threatening a state-wide stir if their demands are not fulfilled.