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NEW DELHI : Healthcare services at several government and private hospitals in the national capital will be hit on Monday as scores of doctors have decided to boycott work for a day in support of their striking colleagues in West Bengal.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had given the strike call with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters here.

Doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital, as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital are joining the strike.

The apex medical body, IMA, said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday.

Emergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said.

Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, which earlier decided not join the strike, held a protest march in the campus between 8 am and 9 am and will join the strike from 12 pm, the decision for which was taken at an early morning general body meeting.

"We once again urge the West Bengal administration to fulfil the demands of the striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest in the best interest of the general public," a statement issued by the AIIMS RDA said, adding a meeting of its general body will be held at 6 pm again to decide the further course of action.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have extended their support to the strike.

"Emergent Executive Committee Meeting convened decided to support the call given by IMA for withdrawal of non-essential services on 17th June (Monday) for 24 hours (6am to 6am) to protest against violence against doctors and hospitals. All clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic centres and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services," a statement by the DMA said.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.

In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country have chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch.

The apex medical body, IMA, has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff.

Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed, it said in a statement.

Exemplary punishment for perpetrators of violence should be a component of the central law and suitable amendments be brought in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the IMA said.

The medical body has launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of the central law to check violence against healthcare workers.

In the meantime, doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday announced that they go on a strike in solidarity with doctors across the country who are boycotting work in protest against violence against them in West Bengal.

AIIMS doctors who had earlier said they would not be participating in the strike said they will withdraw elective services from 12 noon today till 6 am on Tuesday, a statement issued by the Resident Doctor's Association (RDA) of AIIMS said today.

Emergency services including casualty, ICU and labour room services will however not be affected.

The decision by AIIMS doctors was taken in an emergency meeting early today and comes amid allegations that a junior resident doctor at the Emergency Department of Jai Prakash Narain Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) at AIIMS, Delhi was abused by the relatives of a patient at around 1:30 am on Sunday for "performing his rightful duty of giving preferential care to a critical patient."

"We remain dedicated to the primary reason of serving humanity to our fullest potential. The incident at Emergency Department, Trauma Centre, AIIMS where a junior resident was assaulted for performing his rightful duty of giving preferential care to a critical patient, was efficiently managed with the support of AIIMS administration in letter and spirit," the RDA said.

"But this event made us rethink about the warfront like conditions faced by our fellow medicos elsewhere, where they are usually left alone to fight for their lives while saving those of the sick and even where the basic security measures like CCTV surveillance and special security deployment at Emergency and ICU's are nonexistent," the RDA statement added.

The association said it has decided to continue active association with the "movement to ensure safety and security of doctors is essential for it to materialize into legal concrete results of bringing a 'Central Act for Violence against Doctors' by the Government of India, which includes invoking stringent penal actions against the culprits."

The association has further urged the West Bengal administration to fulfill the demands of striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest. Protesting junior doctors in West Bengal sought an "immediate end to this impasse" and agreed for talks with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

On Saturday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accepted the protesting doctors' demands and promised to not invoke the stringent Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them for not performing their duties and urged them to resume work immediately.

Indian Medical Association (IMA), country's largest medical body is holding a nationwide strike today against the alleged attacks on doctors in West Bengal. It has urged for the formulation of a comprehensive law for the enactment of protection law for the doctors and amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). It also wants security measures to be specified.

The doctors' strike in West Bengal has entered its seventh day today and has spread to other parts of the country too.

The doctors at AIIMS also took out a protest on the campus this morning.

Doctors at Jaipuria Hospital in Jaipur are also on strike today. Doctors at Sir Sayajirao General Hospital in Vadodara held protest outside Out Patient Department today. Doctors at IGIMS, Patna, Victoria hospital, Banglore , Guwahati Medical College Hospital, Ludhiana Civil Hospital, PGI Chandigarh, and RIMS Ranchi were among those who held protests.

Meanehile, Supreme Court will hear tomorrow, a PIL filed by Alok Shrivastav, seeking provisions for security and protection of the doctors. Srivastava has further sought strictest action against the alleged attackers who assaulted a junior doctor at NRS Hospital, Kolkata.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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