17 Jun 2019
Doctors go on nationwide strike: Everything you need to know
In a move which is sure to hit medical services, doctors all over the county went on strike on Monday. This strike was called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to show solidarity with protesting doctors in West Bengal.
Since last week, doctors in the state have been agitating after two junior practitioners were thrashed by an unruly mob.
Here are more details.
Backstory: Protests started in West Bengal, spread all over India
The spark started at Kolkata's state-run NRSMCH after a 75-year-old patient died. His relatives attacked doctors alleging "medical negligence". In the attack, one junior doctor suffered a skull injury.
Subsequently, doctors took to streets demanding action against culprits. Their agitation entered the sixth day on Sunday.
Doctors from other states also lent their support and asked the government to ensure safe working conditions.
Due to IMA's strike, medical facilities will be severely hit
About Monday's strike, IMA said in a statement that doctors will not attend non-essential services such as out-patient departments.
Elective surgeries at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and diagnostic centers will also remain suspended. Emergency services will remain functional.
While OPD services won't be hit in government hospitals in Chennai, doctors will wear black badges to express their solidarity for the cause.
Junior doctors at AIIMS won't report to duty
Meanwhile, junior doctors at AIIMS Delhi have said they won't report to duty from 12 noon Monday to 6 AM on Tuesday.
The doctors claimed one of their colleagues was harassed on Sunday prompting them to take out a march in the campus.
Doctors at Safdarjung, Lady Hardinge Medical College, and Hospital, RML Hospital, GTB Hospital, Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, etc. also joined the strike.
Doctors want a central law to deal with violence
The IMA is demanding a comprehensive central law to deal with violence against doctors. They also want that hospitals should be declared as "safe zones". The body wants a three-layer security, installation of CCTV cameras, and a restriction on entry of visitors.
JA Jayalal, senior national vice-president, IMA, underlined that while 19 states have laws to protect hospitals, a central legislation is absolutely necessary.
Doctors in Gujarat stand outside OPD
Gujarat: Indian Medical Association today has called for a nationwide strike of doctors in the wake of violence against doctors in West Bengal; Doctors at Sir Sayajirao General Hospital in Vadodara hold protest outside Out Patient Department pic.twitter.com/Ya6NS3CE3x— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
Separately, doctors said they are ready to talk with Mamata
Meanwhile, doctors at West Bengal who refused to speak with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a softer stand on Sunday and said they will talk to her.
"We are ready to hold talks with the chief minister at a venue of her choice, provided it is held in the open, in the presence of media persons, and not behind closed doors," a spokesperson said.
Solve the issue amicably: AIIMS' doctors to West Bengal Government
"We once again urge the West Bengal administration to fulfill the demands of the striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest in the best interest of the general public," read a statement of Resident Doctors' Association, AIIMS.
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