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Kolkata: Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration, in Kolkata (Photo: PTI)
Kolkata: Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration, in Kolkata (Photo: PTI)

Medical services across country to be hit as doctors threaten strike

  • The brutal assault on Monday on a Kolkata doctor has triggered massive protests among medicos in the country
  • Junior doctors in West Bengal defied Mamata's ultimatum and are on strike demanding adequate security in hospitals

New Delhi: Various medical bodies on Thursday threatened a doctors’ strike on Friday across the country to protest over rising violence against the medical fraternity.

On Monday, a doctor called Paribaha Mukharjee from Kolkata's NRS Medical College was brutally attacked and is fighting for his life. Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that he will take the matter up with the Chief Ministers so that such incidents can be avoided in the future.

The incident has once again raised concerns regarding security of doctors. Expressing concern on recently reported incidents of violence against doctors, he said it is necessary and important for the doctors to get a safe work environment.

“Doctors are an integral pillar of the society and often work under stressful and difficult conditions. I urge the patients and their caregivers to observe restraint. I also urge doctors to observe restraint so that essential services to the people are not disrupted," said Harsh Vardhan.

Following the agitation that started from Kolkata on Tuesday, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA), in its Emergent State Executive Committee held on Thursday, also called for total medical bandh on Friday to protest against the assault on the doctor.

DMA strongly condemned the violence on the doctors saying that it is seriously concerned about frequent episodes of assault on doctors in various government and private hospitals in all over India. In the last few days many medical establishments and doctors have witnessed violence and damage to their properties by the attendants of the patients.

Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration after an intern doctor was attacked and seriously injured over the death of a 75-year-old patient, at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, in Kolkata (Photo: PTI)
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Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration after an intern doctor was attacked and seriously injured over the death of a 75-year-old patient, at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, in Kolkata (Photo: PTI)

“It is a call from DMA to all its esteemed members and owners of hospitals, nursing homes and medical establishment in Delhi to keep their establishments closed on 14th June 2019 as it is a Total Medical Bandh, however, emergency services will remain open," Girish Tyagi President, DMA said.

Several doctors in West Bengal are on a continued strike since Tuesday after the incident. Despite an ultimatum given by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to resume work by 2 pm, they continued the strike and refrained from work stating that the agitation will continue if their security demands are not met.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday directed the members of all its state branches to stage protests and wear black badges on Friday. In a communiqué to all its state presidents and secretaries, the IMA has asked them to organise demonstrations in front of district collectors’ offices from 10 am to 12 noon on Friday and hand over a memorandum addressed to the prime minister to the collectors.

Patients wait at Calcutta Medical College & Hospital during junior doctors' statewide strike after a doctor was assaulted over alleged negligence, in Kolkata (Photo: PTI)
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Patients wait at Calcutta Medical College & Hospital during junior doctors' statewide strike after a doctor was assaulted over alleged negligence, in Kolkata (Photo: PTI)

Several resident doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi worked with bandages on their heads as a symbolic protest. They have also said that they will boycott work on Friday in order to express solidarity with the agitating doctors in West Bengal.

All the local branches and individual members of the IMA will send an appeal to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister and demand a central Act on violence against doctors and hospitals.

“The gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata, is of barbaric nature. IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young doctor. The entire medical fraternity expresses solidarity with the resident doctors who are on strike. The IMA headquarters hereby declares All India Protest Day on Friday," the IMA had said in a statement.

Emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of many government medical colleges and hospitals, and a number of private medical facilities in West Bengal have remained closed over the past two days to protest an attack and injury to the intern doctor after the death of a 75-year-old patient.

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