Mamata suggests police help, night vigil at hospitals in talks with medicos
17 June 2019
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today met representatives of striking doctors as part of an effort to end the strike called by junior doctors in the state that has now spread nationwide.
The strike, called after a junior doctor was assaulted by the relatives of a deceased patient, has now spread nationwide following a call from the Indian Medical Association. Only essential services are running at hospitals across the country.
The joint forum of junior doctors is reported to have told Mamata Banerjee that they were scared to work, and demanded exemplary punishment for those who assaulted doctors at the NRS hospital.
During her meeting with 24 representatives of the striking junior doctors at the state secretariat, in presence of the media, Mamata is reported to have suggested night vigil and posting of a police officer in every hospital as a precautionary measure.
Junior medics from AIIMS also joined the ‘Save The Doctor’ stir after one of their colleagues was allegedly abused and threatened by the relatives of a patient last night. The matter has reached the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear a petition about the safety of doctors.
Mamata Banerjee who earlier refused to meet the striking doctors later changed tack after the doctors insisted they would talk to the government and in the presence of media.
In a letter to the doctors, the Bengal government said two representatives from 14 medical colleges should present themselves at the state secretariat, Nabanna.
Later, it also confirmed that the media will cover the meeting.
The doctors had earlier put forth a six-point demand that included better security, action against those who assaulted the junior doctor and an apology from Mamata Banerjee, who had called the striking doctors "outsiders".
The government said yesterday that the Chief Minister would meet the protesting doctors at the conference hall of the state secretariat in presence of the media.
Meanwhile, a strike called by the Indian Medical Association today hit medical services across the country.
In most places all non-essential services - which include outpatient departments, elective surgeries and diagnostic tests - have been cancelled.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, will hear a plea that seeks to ensure the safety and security of doctors at government hospitals across the country, PTI reported. This comes after health services in West Bengal were paralysed by a massive strike by doctors that began on 11 June after a mob attacked two junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata following the death of a patient.
A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to hear the matter after advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava – the petitioner – sought an urgent hearing of the petition, which was filed on Friday.