Published: 17th June 2019
Meeting at 3 pm a hoax, no official invite from the CMO: Doctors on strike in West Bengal
IMA had 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
The protesting junior doctors on Monday claimed that they have not received any official invite from the Chief Minister's Office for a meeting. Addressing the media, the medical students and doctors said that they want to talk to the CM and discuss their demands but will only do so if it's not a closed door meeting and the media is allowed to telecast live. As the protests continue medical services have been hit severely.
"We still want to sit for a discussion but we want it to be an open door discussion where representatives of all medical colleges are present along with the media," said one of the agitating students on Monday. "The news about a meeting at 3 pm on Monday has no official basis. No one notified us from the CMO. We have received no such letter or any sort of communication officially. We too heard it on the news. We also got to know that the government has, apparently, said that they will allow government photographers to record the event. But we are not comfortable with that. This has been a mass movement from the beginning and the public needs to know about what goes on inside the room," added another resident doctor from SSKM Hospital.
More than 40,000 doctors in Maharashtra are boycotting work on Monday as part of a strike call given by their apex body IMA in support of their agitating colleagues in West Bengal, an official said. Healthcare services at government and private hospitals in the national capital will be hit on Monday as scores of doctors, including those at AIIMS, have decided to boycott work as well. Hundreds of private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in Karnataka suspended outpatient services on Monday following a call by the Indian Medical Association to hold a day-long strike. The Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) Sunday threatened to go on an indefinite strike against the state governments decision to enhance the retirement age of doctors in medical college hospitals from 58 to 65.
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 will not function on Monday.
The 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.
The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) also extended their support to the strike call. "Emergent Executive Committee Meeting convened today 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 centrés and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services," a statement by DMA said. Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were reportedly attacked and seriously injured 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 chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence. 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 had 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.
A delegation of IMA, Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, United Resident and Doctors Association of India (URDA) and Federation of Resident Doctors Association met the Health Minister recently in this regard.