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Doctors’ stir continues, OPDs shut, private hospitals too join the protest

Junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital demonstrate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in Kolkata on Friday (ANI)Premium
Junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital demonstrate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in Kolkata on Friday (ANI)

  • IMA demanded exemplary action by the State Government of West Bengal for not ensuring safety for doctors, union minister of health and family welfare
  • The apex medical body said that if all the legitimate demands of the Resident Doctors in West Bengal are not accepted unconditionally, it will continue to protest till Monday

New Delhi: Medical services across the country were hit on Friday as thousands of doctors went on strike agitating over violence against a doctor in West Bengal earlier this week. Dr Paribaha Mukharjee from Kolkata’s NRS Medical College, who was brutally attacked on Monday, is fighting for his life. This has triggered nationwide protests demanding security for doctors.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) demanded exemplary action by the West Bengal government for not ensuring safety for doctors. Union minister of health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan on Friday wrote to the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to intervene.

“As you must be aware, resident doctors in many parts of the country are agitating and not providing OPD services today. This has caused severe hardship to patients who came for treatment, leading to adversely affected healthcare services in the country. It is a matter of concern that the agitation by doctors in West Bengal is not heading towards resolution, but seems to be getting aggravated," said Harsh Vardhan in his letter.

“Better communication with doctors and a compassionate approach to take care of the genuine problems being faced by them in day-to-day functioning would definitely be helpful in tiding over the crisis. I urge upon you to personally intervene in resolving the current impasse and taking steps to provide a secure working environment to doctors in West Bengal. The entire country is being adversely affected due to developments in West Bengal and therefore ensuring an amicable end to the agitation will be beneficial and is strongly warranted," he said.

The IMA on Friday said that if all the legitimate demands of resident doctors in West Bengal are not accepted unconditionally, it will continue to protest till Monday. It also said all non-essential services including OPD will be withdrawn for 24 hours the next day. Emergency causality services will continue to function.

The IMA also reached out to Amit Shah, Union minister of home affairs, regarding security of doctors in the country. The issue has been gaining momentum all across the country as the national capital observed a complete bandh on Friday in all medical establishments, clinics and private and corporate hospitals.

“Safety and security in the hospitals have been a matter of great concern and need to be addressed. In view of the continued sufferings of the residents and repeated occurrence of such incidents without redressal," said R V Asokan, secretary-general, IMA.

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