West Bengal doctors’ strike LATEST UPDATES: The junior doctors on strike at NRS hospital in Kolkata are on their way to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna, the state Secretariat. The doctors cheered as their vehicles left the hospital premises.
Mamata Banerjee has finally agreed to meet the protesting junior doctors of NRS hospital in Kolkata in the presence of media. Earlier, she had said she was not comfortable with holding the meeting with reporters present, but the protesting doctors were firm on their demand, reported News18.
Dr PK Mitra, the Director of Medical Education of the West Bengal government, has arrived at NRS hospital in Kolkata to meet the junior doctors on protest. Referring to their demand for the presence of national media at the meeting with Mamata Banerjee, he said he had already communicated their stand to the chief minister and “no new conditions can be met now”.
Junior doctors are likely to boycott the 3 pm meeting with Mamata Banerjee even if it is recorded. The protesting doctors doctors in West Bengal specifically want the national media to be present at the meeting.
Several doctors in Goa boycotted work on Monday and held a silent protest march in Panaji. In Maharashtra, over 40,000 doctors boycotted work as part of the IMA’s strike. In Odisha, OPD services were hit, but emergency wards functioned normally.
Mamata Banerjee has agreed to hold a “recorded” meeting with the junior doctors of NRS hospital on strike. The Director of Medical Education said, “The discussion and resolutions taken in this meeting shall be recorded and duly communicated to you.”
Due to the ongoing countrywide doctors’ strike, the government has cancelled the leaves of all doctors employed at Central government hospitals and asked them to return to duty immediately. The Central government doctors have been asked to come back to work to deal with the crisis, reports said.
The junior doctors on strike in West Bengal have rejected Mamata Banerjee’s request for a closed-door meeting at state Secretariat Nabanna. At the general body meeting of junior doctors of Kolkata’s NRS hospital, they decided to not attend the meeting with the chief minister at 3 pm.
The PIL the Supreme Court will hear tomorrow seeks directions to the Union ministries of home affairs and health and the West Bengal administration to depute government-appointed security personnel at all state-run hospitals in India to ensure safety and security of doctors.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a PIL tomorrow (Tuesday) on the ongoing doctors’ strike across the country. The plea, filed by one Ashok Srivastata, seeks legal protection for doctors against assaults, like the one faced by junior doctors at NRS hospital in Kolkata, which triggered the strike.
The contention between the protesting doctors in West Bengal and Mamata Banerjee is now on the presence of media at the planned meeting. Medicos want the meeting to be held in the presence of media, but the chief minister is “not comfortable” with it.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) will hold a nationwide protest on Monday against the beating of doctors in West Bengal, said Dr Ranjan Sharma, president of the doctors’ national body, on Sunday.
Dr Sharma said that they would also stress for the enactment of protection law for the doctors and amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
“We need amendments in IPC and CrPC so that anybody who indulges in acts of violence against hospitals and doctors is taken to task as per the laws,” said Dr Sharma while talking to ANI.
Terming the strike of doctors in West Bengal as the failure of the system, Sharma said: “All that was asked was a visit to the victim by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Is it too much? And if you did not meet, then why to insult them?”
Sharma said that there is a need for CCTV cameras and guards, who are actually concerned about the security of doctors.
“At NRS Hospital in Kolkata, there were cops on duty inside the emergency complex. Still, they did not act. Sensitising them and making them aware of the need of security of doctors is essential,” he said.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has given the 17 June strike call to withdrawal non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters in 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 Babasaheb 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.
In a late night statement, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said it will not participate in the nationwide strike called by the IMA, but will take out a protest march from 8 am to 9 am Monday.
“Keeping patient care in the centre, AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA) has decided not to go on strike, but will take out a protest march from 8 am to 9 am on Monday,” it said.
The premier medical institute also asked its faculty members, researchers, students and para medical staff to join the protest march.
With inputs from agencies
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.
West Bengal doctors’ strike LIVE updates: Protesting junior doctors likely to boycott meeting with Mamata unless govt agrees to media presence – Firstpost