Doctors Resume Work, End of Strike Brings Relief to Patients
A deadly assault on two junior doctors in Kolkata’s NRS Medical College on 10 June triggered the outrage.
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.
- 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
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.
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.”
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3:25 AM, 15 JunAIIMS Resident Doctors' Association Issues 48-Hr Ultimatum to WB Govt
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3:05 PM, 17 JunDoctors Officially Call Off Week-Long Strike Post Meeting With Mamata