Doctor strike: The junior doctors’ strike in West Bengal, on since Tuesday, has hit services in the state’s government-run hospitals. The resident doctors’ association of AIIMS urged doctors’ bodies across the country to join the token strike.
Doctors across the country will boycott work on Monday to express solidarity with their Bengal counterparts whose strike to protest the attack on an intern at a government-run hospital in Kolkata entered its fourth day. Junior doctors in several states boycotted work today affecting medical services. Blaming the Mamata Banerjee government for the doctors’ strike in Bengal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appealed to her to “not make it a prestige issue”. He also assured doctors across the country that the government is “committed to ensuring their safety”. Meanwhile, the striking doctors have said they want an unconditional apology from Ms Banerjee to withdraw their protest, according to news agency PTI.
Here are latest developments in this big story:
“Instead of taking action against the attackers, she (Mamata Banerjee) gave the doctors an ultimatum, warned and threatened them because of which doctors of West Bengal and across the country are angry,” Minister Harsh Vardhan said. “If one chief minister shows sensitivity and changes her behaviour, it will end the suffering of patients across the country,” he added.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the country’s leading doctors’ body, has called a nationwide strike on Monday. It will also ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to bring out a central law against such violence.
The Delhi Medical Association called for a statewide medical shutdown today. In the national capital, resident doctors at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital stayed away from work.
“Emergency services will function normally as the resident doctors will purportedly continue to work as per their scheduled duties,” AIIMS medical superintendent DK Sharma said in a statement today. He said inpatient wards, labour and maternity care facilities will function normally. The outpatient department and diagnostic services will largely remain suspended today.
Around 4,500 doctors in Maharashtra stopped attending to patients in all the 26 government hospitals in the state. “We are shutting down our outpatient departments, ward and academic services from 8 am to 5 pm today. Emergency services will not be hampered,” the state doctors’ body said in a statement.
In Hyderabad, doctors staged a protest at the Nizam’s Institute Of Medical Sciences.
The junior doctors’ strike in West Bengal, on since Tuesday, has hit services in the state’s government-run hospitals. Over the last four days, services have been affected in emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals.
Dozens of doctors in Kolkata and Darjeeling have resigned today to protest violence against doctors in the state.
During a visit to a state-run hospital in Kolkata, Ms Banerjee warned doctors who won’t return to work. Doctors who don’t return to work must leave the hostel, she said. “They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way,” she said. “I condemn doctors who have gone on strike. Policemen die in line of duty but the police don’t go on a strike,” she added. She has accused the BJP and the CPM of engineering the strike and playing “Hindu-Muslim politics”
Instances of medical personnel being assaulted by relatives of patients are fairly common across the country. In April, authorities of the RML Hospital in Delhi filed a police complaint against a patient’s relative after he allegedly slapped a woman doctor. Earlier this month, a case was registered against 17-year-old boy and his friend for allegedly assaulting a doctor at a Maharashtra hospital after his father died during treatment.