Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, meanwhile, said the Centre has asked states to frame laws for the protection of doctors as a nationwide strike called by the fraternity in solidarity with their West Bengal colleagues crippled health services.
In West Bengal, doctors protesting against an attack on a junior colleague by the kin of a patient who passed away agreed to meet Mamata Banerjee after the chief minister gave her nod to live coverage of the meeting.
Earlier in the day, doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who had denied participation in the strike, announced a withdrawal of elective services from noon to 6am on Tuesday following an assault on a junior resident doctor early Monday morning. The medico at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre was allegedly assaulted for “giving preferential care to a critical patient,” the Resident Doctors Association said.
The apex medical body, Indian Medical Association, has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff, and in hospitals. Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed, it said in a statement.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had given the June 17 strike call with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters in New Delhi.
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 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medical body, IMA, said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday.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.
The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), on the other hand, have extended their support to IMA’s 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 centres and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services,” a statement by DMA said.
While doctors in Goa have decided to participate in the strike between 6am and 6pm, doctors in the centrally-sponsored JIPMER in Puducherry had on Saturday the OPD and in the laboratory and elective surgeries scheduled for Monday have been suspended.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Health Minister Shivanand S Patil has appealed to the doctors in the state to keep their protest “symbolic”. In a letter to Karnataka chapter of IMA, which was released to the media, Patil condemned the attack on doctors in West Bengal recently and made a fervent appeal to those in the private and government hospitals in the state not to put ordinary citizens in trouble.
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.
Doctors’ Strike LIVE: Bengal Docs Call Off Week-Long Strike, Give Mamata Banerjee Time to Fulfill Promises – News18