Doctors Resume Work, End of Strike Brings Relief to Patients
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had been at loggerheads with the protesting junior doctors in Kolkata, an agitation that has now spread across the nation.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had been at loggerheads with the protesting junior doctors in Kolkata, an agitation that has now spread across the nation.(Photo: The Quint)

Doctors Resume Work, End of Strike Brings Relief to Patients

West Bengal’s junior doctors on Monday, 17 June, called off their seven-day protest after meeting with CM Mamata Banerjee. Thirty-one representatives, including two from each medical college of the state, met with the CM. In their statement, they thanked the CM and assured the press that they would resume work as soon as is possible.

In the meeting, Banerjee accepted the doctors’ demands for setting up grievance redressal cells at government hospitals. She also stressed on increased security at hospitals, including installation of collapsible gates at the entrances of emergency ward.

Doctors in major cities across the country – Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad – had been protesting and boycotting work in a show of solidarity with their protesting colleagues in Kolkata.

On Thursday, 13 June, Prof Saibal Kumar Mukherjee and Prof Saurabh Chattopadhyay resigned as the Principal and Medical Superintendent and Vice Principal respectively of NRS Medical College and Hospital.

Snapshotclose

  • A severe assault on junior doctors in Kolkata’s NRS Medical College and Hospital triggered the backlash
  • Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, one of the injured interns, wound up with a fractured skull and is “recovering well”
  • The Indian Medical Association had called for a nationwide strike on Monday, 17 June

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(3) NEW UPDATES

Kolkata BJP Demands Mamata's Resignation as State Health Minister

The BJP demanded immediate resignation of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from her Home and Health portfolios and sought the intervention of Governor KN Tripathi to resolve the impasse in the state's health sector which continued for the fourth day on Friday, 14 June.

“The governor should talk to the chief minister immediately and exercise his power as constitutional head of the state to resolve the impasse and restore peace,” senior BJP leader Mukul Roy told reporters after meeting the Tripathi at Raj Bhavan in the evening.

“The chief minister should leave her ego and arrogance and resolve the stalemate immediately in the interest of the people. Please don't complicate the situation further,” Roy said.

Protesting Doctors Refuse to Meet Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, 14 June, invited the protesting junior doctors for a meeting at the state secretariat. They denied attending the same by deeming it a ploy to quell the uproar.

She convened the meeting to find a solution to the ongoing impasse which has disrupted normal services at all state-run medical colleges and hospitals for four days now.

After the protesting doctors did not show up on Friday, 14 June, Banerjee gave them time again for 5 pm on Saturday, 15 June, for the meeting at state secretariat Nabanna, senior physician Sukumar Mukherjee said.

“This is a ploy to break our unity, our agitation. We will not attend any meeting at the state secretariat. The chief minister has to come here (NRS Medical College and Hospital) and deliver an unconditional apology for the manner in which she had addressed us during her visit to SSKM Hospital yesterday,” a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors said.

Doctors Issue Fresh Demands

Refusing to meet CM Mamata Banerjee at her residence on the night of Friday, 14 June, the agitating doctors have issued a fresh set of demands.

The protesting doctors demanded Banerjee visit the injured doctors at the hospital and issue a statement condemning the attack on them.

Seeking the CM’s immediate intervention, the doctors also demanded a judicial probe into the police inaction in providing security to doctors at the NRS Medical College and Hospital for the attack at night on Monday, 10 June.

They also demanded documentary evidence and details of the action taken against their assailants. Another demand is the unconditional withdrawal of all “false cases and charges” imposed on junior doctors and medical students across West Bengal for going on strike.

They also seek for improvement of security infrastructure in all health facilities and posting of armed police personnel to shield them from any attack while on duty.

KEY EVENT

AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association Issues 48-Hr Ultimatum to WB Govt

The Resident Doctors’ Association, AIIMS, has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the West Bengal government to meet the striking doctors’ demands. If they fail to do so, it “would be forced to resort to an indefinite strike at AIIMS.”

NRS Doctors to Hold Meeting About Mamata's Invitation for Talks

The protesting doctors of NRS Medical College and Hospital will hold a meeting at 10:30 am with the agenda of determining whether or not to accept CM Mamata Banerjee's invitation for talks.

Won’t Attend Meeting Called by CM Mamata This Evening: Striking Junior Doctors

The striking junior doctors on Saturday, 15 June, said that they will not attend the meeting called by CM Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat on the same evening, reported news agency PTI.

The doctors have sought unconditional apology from Banerjee and set six conditions for the state government in order to withdraw the stir.

“We are not going to the secretariat upon the invitation of the chief minister for the meeting. She will have to come to the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital and deliver an unconditional apology for the comments she made during her visit to the SSKM Hospital on Thursday.”
Arindam Dutta, spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors, to PTI.

"If she can go to the SSKM she can also come to the NRS... or else this agitation will go on," Dutta said.

On Friday night, the agitating junior doctors declined to attend a meeting called by Banerjee at the state secretariat, saying it was a ploy to break their stir.

After the protesting doctors did not turn up on Friday night, Banerjee asked the students to come to Nabanna, the state secretariat, at 5 pm on Saturday, senior physician Sukumar Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee along with other senior doctors, who were not part of the agitation, met Banerjee on Friday.

They held a two-hour-long meeting with the chief minister at the secretariat to find a solution to the ongoing problem.

Doctors at Many Hospitals in Delhi Protest on Saturday Over WB Violence

Scores of doctors from several government hospitals in Delhi, who could not join the nationwide stir on 14 June, protested in solidarity with their striking colleagues in Kolkata on Saturday.

Doctors at the Centre-run Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital and RML Hospital, and Delhi government facilities such as Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and DDU Hospital, boycotted work and held protests, reported PTI.

Mamata to Meet Doctor Who Was Assaulted

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to meet Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, one of the interns who were assaulted at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, on Saturday.

KEY EVENT

Home Ministry Issues Advisory to WB Govt on Doctors' Strike, Seeks Report

The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to the West Bengal government on the doctors’ strike and has sought a report on the matter.

“This Ministry is in receipt of a number of representations from doctors, health care professionals and medical associations from different parts of the country for their safety and security in view of the ongoing strike by doctors in West Bengal. It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the representations and ongoing strike by the doctors,” the advisory stated.

KEY EVENT

Health Min Writes to CMs of All States

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has reportedly written to the Chief Ministers of all the states, demanding their governments to enact laws that ensure better security for the doctors.

He has also sought to draw their attention for strict action against any person who assaults doctors.

WBCPCR Condemns Doctors Protests

The West Bengal Committee for Protection of Child Rights has condemned the protests led by the doctors in the state, claiming that several children are dying due to the lack of untimely medical services.

In a statement, the child rights body said: "We strongly condemn the attack on you and all attacks on the medical fraternity that have happened in the past. We would like you to know that we are with you in your hour of agony. However, you are a crucial link in the lifeline of the people.”

Mamata Cancels Meet With Injured Doctor

According to reports, CM Banerjee has cancelled her meeting with Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, one of the interns who were assaulted at the NRS Medical College and Hospital. This move presumably comes after the striking junior doctors turned down the CM’s second invitation for a meeting at the state secretariat earlier in the day.

State Will Bear Mukherjee's Expense: Mamata

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state would work to ensure a solution to the crisis unfolding in the state. “It is an unfortunate incident, we will ensure a solution is found to the crisis”, she said.

She added that the state government was committed towards “resuming normal medical services” at the soonest.

She further said: “State is fully committed to take necessary steps. State has taken the decision to bear all the expenses of medical treatment of the junior doctor who is admitted at a private hospital.”

'We Accept All Demands, Call Off Strike': Mamata

Addressing a press conference, CM Banerjee said the West Bengal government accepted the protesting doctors demands, appealing to them to call off the strike.

“We've accepted all their demands. I had sent my ministers, principal secretary to meet the doctors, waited for 5 hours to meet doctors delegations yesterday & today, but they did not come. You have to give respect to the constitutional body,” she said.

She further said she would not take any stringent action against the protesting doctors.

“We never arrested a single person. We will not take any police action. Health services cannot continue like this. I am not going to take any stringent action. Let good sense prevail.”

Appeal to Doctors to Restore Normalcy: Mamata

In a letter addressed to the medical fraternity, CM Mamata Banerjee reiterated her appeal to the doctors to call off their protests and restore medical services in the state.

Junior Doctors Agree to Meet CM Mamata, Demand Media Presence

The doctors have asked for the CM to choose the venue for the meeting. However it must have delegates of all medical colleges and the media, The Quint confirmed.

AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association: Services to Continue, Protest March Tomorrow

The AIIMS Resident Doctors Association said that their services would continue, but that they would hold a protest march on Monday, 17 June. Failing a resolution, they added that they would escalate their protest.

“Keeping patient care in the center, hospital services would not be disrupted & shall continue as usual for now. In case the lock-jam does not end, we will be forced to resort to escalation of the protest,” the statement reads.
“Keeping patient care in the center, hospital services would not be disrupted & shall continue as usual for now. In case the lock-jam does not end, we will be forced to resort to escalation of the protest,” the statement reads.

Puducherry Govt Asks IMA to Avoid Going on Strike

Puducherry government has directed the medical fraternity here not to resort to agitation scheduled Monday to protest against the attack on two doctors in Kolkata recently.

Director of Health and Family Welfare Services K V Raman in a press release Sunday said the members of the Indian Medical Association have been asked not to go on strike, as such conduct would be a violation of the conduct rules governing civil servants.

(Source: PTI)

KEY EVENT

Healthcare Services in Delhi to Take a Hit as Doctors Go on Strike

Healthcare services at several government and private hospitals in the national capital will be hit on Monday, 17 June, as scores of doctors have decided to boycott work for a day in support of their striking colleagues in West Bengal, news agency PTI reported.

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 are joining the strike.

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.

Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, which earlier decided not join the strike, held a protest march in the campus between 8 am and 9 am and will join the strike from 12 pm, the decision for which was taken at an early morning general body meeting, according to PTI.

KEY EVENT

Resident Doctors to Withdraw Services from 12 Noon Today till 6AM Tomorrow

The Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, which earlier decided not to join the strike, announced withdrawal of all nonessential services from noon after a junior doctor at its trauma centre was assaulted in the early hours of Monday.

The medico at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre was allegedly assaulted for "giving preferential care to a critical patient", the RDA said in a statement.

In a press release issued on Monday, 17 June, the Resident Doctors’ Association, AIIMS “once again urged the West Bengal administration to fulfill the demands of striking doctors and resolve the matter at the earliest.” A meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday to decide on the further course of action, the statement said.
In a press release issued on Monday, 17 June, the Resident Doctors’ Association, AIIMS “once again urged the West Bengal administration to fulfill the demands of striking doctors and resolve the matter at the earliest.” A meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday to decide on the further course of action, the statement said.
KEY EVENT

SC to Hear Plea on Doctors' Safety on 18 June

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear tomorrow the petition seeking safety and security to government doctors across the country, reports ANI.

Over 40,000 Doctors Boycott Work in Maharashtra

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, news agency PTI reported, quoting an official.

"Over 40,000 doctors and other medical practitioners in Maharashtra have decided to support their colleagues in West Bengal who are protesting against their Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," an IMA official reportedly said.

"The OPD services have been suspended at various hospitals in support of the strike call," IMA Maharashtra's honorary secretary Dr Suhas Pingale told PTI.

Doctors in Assam, UP & Odisha Hold Protest Against Violence

Dr Paribaha Mukhopadhyay Recovering Well From Head Injury: Medical Bulletin

Mamata to Meet 2 Medical Representatives From Each Medical College in Bengal at 3 PM Today

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has agreed to meet two medical representatives from each medical college of the state at 3 pm today, a letter issued by the Director of Medical Education, said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has agreed to meet two medical representatives from each medical college of the state at 3 pm today, a letter issued by the Director of Medical Education, said.
KEY EVENT

Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS Addresses Media

Doctors Take out Silent Protest March in Goa

Several doctors in Goa boycotted work on Monday and took out a 'silent protest march' in Panaji to condemn the attack on some of their colleagues in West Bengal.

In response to the strike call given by their apex body IMA, the non-essential medical services were suspended in various government and private hospitals of the coastal state, news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.

A number of doctors participated in the silent protest march taken out from the Azad Maidan to Panjim market in the state capital.

"Doctors were striking work in the coastal state to express solidarity with their colleagues who were recently attacked in West Bengal,” Shekhar Salkar, the former chief of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Goa, who took part in the protest march, told PTI.

He demanded that armed security personnel be deployed outside all casualty wards in government-run hospitals.

Doctors in Himachal Wear Black Bands in Solidarity with Protesting Colleagues

Government doctors in Himachal Pradesh on Monday wore black bands to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in West Bengal.

In a meeting held at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla at 9 am, members of the Residents Doctors Association (RDA) decided not to observe a strike to take care of the admitted patients, PTI quoted IGMC RDA general secretary, Dr Bhartendu Negi, as saying.

But the doctors were seen wearing black bands while discharging their duties.

28,000 Gujarat Doctors Join Nationwide Stir, OPD Services Hit

Non-essential health services were affected in Gujarat on Monday as nearly 28,000 doctors boycotted work in response to their apex body IMA's strike call, news agency PTI reported quoting an official.

Junior doctors and interns held protests in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and other major towns of the state and did not report to work in the Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) of various government and private hospitals, he reportedly said.

Around 28,000 doctors across the state, including 9,000 in Ahmedabad, have joined the 24-hour strike, an official from IMA's Gujarat chapter told PTI.

"No patient has been turned back at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. Though junior doctors are on strike, all the senior doctors are on duty and taking care of patients,” the hospital's superintendent MM Prabhakar reportedly said.

KEY EVENT

Mamata Agrees to Live Coverage of Meeting with Doctors

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has agreed to the live coverage of meeting with agitating doctors, news agency PTI reported on Monday.

The meeting will be held at an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat in Howrah.

"No Case Against Doctors, You Are Young Children" Says Mamata

Mamata Banerjee in her meeting with the representatives of protesting doctors said, “No case against doctors. You are young children, why will we register a case against you?”

She called young doctors the future and said she won’t target them, according to the Indian Express.

Only Two Should Be Allowed to Accompany Patient in Emergency Ward, Suggests Mamata

Not more than two relatives should be allowed to accompany a patient in the emergency ward, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggested in her meeting with the representatives of protesting doctors.

'Want Exemplary Punishment for Those Responsible for NRS Assault': Doctors in Meeting With Mamata

“We are scared while working. We want exemplary punishment for those who assaulted NRS doctors,” said doctors in the meeting with CM Mamata Banerjee.

KEY EVENT

Five Arrested In NRS Incident, Mamata Tells Doctors in Meeting

“We have taken adequate measures, arrested five people involved in NRS hospital incident,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in her meeting with protesting doctors.

Mamata Accepts Demand for Grievance Redressal Units in Government Hospitals

CM Mamata Banerjee has accepted the doctors’ demands for setting up grievance redressal cells in West Bengal’s government hospitals.

Mamata Asks Police to Appoint Nodal Officers for WB Hospitals

CM Mamata Banerjee asked the police officers present in the meeting to appoint nodal officers for hospitals in the state for the security of doctors, reported PTI. She also asked officials to start a state-wide emergency number and an email ID to report assaults.

WB Doctors Agree to Call Off 7-Day Strike After Meeting With Mamata Banerjee

Junior doctors in West Bengal agreed to call off a week-long strike after meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reported PTI. The Junior docs will go back to NRS Medical College and make a formal announcement.

Mamata Meets Paribaha, Says Govt Will Pay for Plastic Surgery If Need Be

Mamata Banerjee met Dr Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, who had sustained injuries to his skull after doctors at Nil Ratan Sarkar (NRS) Medical College & Hospital were attacked on 10 June.

She asked Mukhopadhyay to “do plastic surgery if need be,” adding that the government will bear all costs, according to Robin Sengupta, Chairman, Neurosciences Institute, Kolkata. She also promised the institute 50 acres of land in Kolkata’s Rajarhat to build a university, he said.

KEY EVENT

Doctors Officially Call Off Week-Long Strike Post Meeting With Mamata

Junior doctors who had met with Mamata Banerjee have officially called off the week-long strike. Representatives addressed the media and said that they wanted to give the government some time to deliver on its promises.

They thanked the CM and assured the press that they would return to work as soon as possible.

Opposition Parties Welcome Junior Doctors Decision to Call off Stir

Opposition parties in West Bengal on Monday, 17 June, welcomed the decision of junior doctors to call off their week-long stir and urged the state government to ensure a proper working atmosphere and infrastructure for doctors working at government hospitals.

The ruling Trinamool Congress too welcomed the decision but urged the opposition parties not to politicise the matter.

"We welcome the decision by the junior doctors to withdraw the strike. We are happy about it. It is a huge relief for poor people and patients. We would urge the state government to ensure proper working atmosphere and infrastructure for the doctors working in government hospitals," news agency PTI quoted BJP state president, Dilip Ghosh, as saying.

CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty also welcomed the decision and blamed "the arrogant" approach by Mamata Banerjee for the week-long impasse.

State Congress President Somen Mitra welcomed the decision as well.

Doctors Resume Work Today, End of Strike Brings Relief to Patients

Doctors and patients in Delhi shared a sense of relief as resident doctors in West Bengal ended their week-long strike on Monday, 17 June, evening, according to an Indian Express report on Tuesday, 18 June.

Patients were inconvenienced on 17 June as doctors at government and also at a few private hospitals in the national capital boycotted work to show solidarity with their striking colleagues in Bengal.

Resident Doctors' Association of the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which had earlier decided not to join the strike, announced withdrawal of all non-essential services from 12 noon on Monday till 6 am on Tuesday, after a junior doctor at its trauma centre was allegedly manhandled on Sunday, 16 June, by the attendants of a patient.

Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS Delhi Withdraws Strike

The Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS in New Delhi has withdrawn the strike.

"With the decision of the protesting doctors of West Bengal to call off the strike, the resident doctors at AIIMS New Delhi will resume their duties with immediate effect," news agency ANI quoted AIIMS RDA as saying on Tuesday, 18 June.

People Queue Up at North Bengal Medical College & Hospital in Siliguri

People form a queue at the OPD ticket counter of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in West Bengal’s Siliguri after doctors called off their strike following a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, 17 June.

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