New Delhi: The agitation among doctors has entered the seventh day after the strike that began on June 11 in Kolkata’s Nil Ratan Sircar (NRS) hospital has taken a pan-India hit as doctors from hospitals across the states stand still against the violence that doctors in the state face. The West Bengal government had also claimed the resistance to be a politically charged move by the opposing Bharatiya Janata Party.
How it started
It all began when an 80-year-old patient, Mohammed Syed, who was being looked after by two junior doctors in the NRS hospital died allegedly due to their negligence on June 10. The same night, the two interns were verbally and physically assaulted by the relatives of the deceased patient. One of the interns had severe injuries including a cracked skull and damaged vision in one eye.
Following the brutal attack, the junior doctors at the hospital sat on a dharna resisting the assaults and seeking protection from the state authorities against it.
What they demand
It is not new that agitated family members of patients who pass away often frustrate over doctors alleging carelessness. However, the recent assault led the doctors into a war-like agitation on the lack of security that the government provides for them to avert such incidents.
As a result, the doctors in a PIL demanded the formulation of a comprehensive law enactment of protection for the doctors and amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) the full security from any kind of attack from a patient or their relatives.
They also sought a total coverage of medical expenses of the two injured interns.
Doctor’s strike goes pan-India
Last week, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had outrightly refused the doctors’ demands forcing them to resume their work immediately.
However, after continuous ignorance by Mamata Banerjee, doctors across the country including Delhi’s AIIMS and Safdarjung hospital joined the strike refusing to work until the demands of the Kolkata doctors are met.
Moreover, nearly 119 doctors have resigned deepening the crisis that has completely paralyzed the state’s medical and healthcare systems. Following it, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called an All-India strike on Monday.
Nearly a week after the continuing protests and failed talks between the doctors and the government, Banerjee has finally agreed to hold a face-to-face meeting with two representatives from the agitating doctors to listen to their demands, making way for an end to the week-long passe on Monday.