New Delhi: Days after two junior doctors at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata were assaulted by family members of a patient which led to mass protests in the state, doctors from across the nation carried out protests today.

Healthcare services at government hospitals in various cities have taken a serious hit after doctors went on strike in solidarity with their West Bengal counterparts.

A complete shutdown of all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits, in some hospitals till 5 pm today has been imposed. (As part of contingency measures, emergency services will continue in all hospitals.) From Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad to Nagpur, Jaipur and hospitals in Kerala, Karnataka, government doctors are out on the roads.

The protests erupted at the NRS Hospital on Tuesday morning bringing regular services to a standstill, after a junior doctor was allegedly beaten up by the kin of a 75-year-old patient who died there late on Monday night. The family members of the deceased patient alleged medical negligence.

An intern named Paribaha Mukherjee sustained a serious skull injury in the attack and was admitted in the intensive care unit of the Institute of Neurosciences. With an improvement in his condition, Mukherjee has been shifted to the general bed and will be released from the hospital within the next two days.

Some studies show that 75 per cent of all doctors in India has faced some form of violence.

TOP DEVELOPMENTS SO FAR:

 

  • Total 27 doctors of North Bengal Medical College & Hospital, Darjeeling, have resigned over violence against doctors in the state.

 

  • Mamata Banerjee’s harsh words resulted in the resumption of emergency services at the Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, where senior doctors took charge, but there was a hardening of posture on the part of the striking junior doctors, who lashed out at the Chief Minister for having called them “outsiders”, “urban Naxals” , “CPI(M) cadre” and “BJP workers”. Read:

 

  • Condemning the government’s role in the NRS case, Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim’s daughter Shabba Hakim (also a doctor), said, “We have a right to peaceful protest. We have a right to safety at work. P.S. as a TMC supporter I am deeply ashamed at the inaction and the silence of our leader”.

 

  • Doctors of AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital joined the protest and have staged a boycott of work in the national capital today. The AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) has also urged all the RDAs across the country to join the token strike. “There is a complete breakdown of law and order, with reports of mobs attacking doctor hostels with weapons. The government has failed to provide protection and justice to doctors. “The AIIMS RDA condemns this in words and in spirit. Residents across the country are deeply hurt by these turn of events,” the RDA said in a statement.

 

  • Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) to observe strike today over violence against doctors in West Bengal. Official statement reads, “We are shutting down our OPD, ward and academic services from 8 am to 5 pm today. Emergency services will not be hampered.”

  • Amid the ongoing junior doctors’ strike that has paralysed services in most of Bengal’s state-run hospitals, the principal and the medical superintendent of NRS Medical College and Hospital resigned on Thursday. “We are sorry. This government is so shameless, that even our principal has had to resign,” said a representative of the striking doctors.