What was started in one of Kolkata’s government hospitals has now spread nationwide. An all-India doctors’ strike is being held today in solidarity with the doctors of West Bengal 6 days after the gruesome attack on doctors and interns of NRS Medical College, Kolkata.
After an 85-year-old patient of the said hospital allegedly passed away due to cardiac arrest, 2 trucks loaded with goons arrived and started terrorising doctors of the hospital. Amidst the wreck-havoc, three 22-23 year-old interns suffered major injuries, one of them having sustained a blow to the head whereby his frontal lobe suffered a major fracture, therefore falling into coma.
This shocking incident sparked massive outrage from doctors of NRS hospital, afterwards spreading to other hospitals in West Bengal, where questions were raised regarding if at all doctors of the country were safe. A six-fold demand has since then been placed by the WB doctors which include carrying out triage in casualty, increase in the number of security guards, installation of CCTV cameras in high-risk zones, allowing just one attendant with a patient, conduct stress management and meditation sessions for the staff, according to TOI.
They also demand immediate punishment for the perpetrators of the assault and an apology from the CM, who earlier allegedly claimed that the doctors in protest were “outsiders” and threatening them.
Yesterday, according to a report by NDTV, a resident doctor from one of India’s top medical institutes AIIMS in Delhi was abused by the relatives of a patient at 1 AM. While attacks on doctors don’t seem to come to an end even amidst protests, Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for a country-wide strike today.
— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
According to NDTV’s report, the IMA said doctors will not attend to non-essential services such as out-patient departments and elective surgeries at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and diagnostic centres. However, all emergency services will remain active.
In a statement submitted by junior doctors from AIIMS, they said that they won’t report to duty from 12 PM today till 6 AM tomorrow in protest against the alleged abuse of one of their colleagues which took place yesterday. Intensive care units and emergency services are to remain open.
According to News18, doctors at the centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital, along with Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital will not function today.
In Bengal, the junior doctors from NRS hospital are to meet with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. However, they demanded their talk to be under the open-eye amidst the press instead of being private. They are to meet the CM at 3 PM today.
Doctors from Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and other state government hospitals are on strike today.
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
Attacks on doctors are something which has been happening for an upsetting amount of time now. While most of the attacks go unrecorded, the few that do await justice even till this day. We sincerely hope for the government to take stricter measures to ensure doctors’ safety. It’s only when they are safe that citizens of the country will be safe.