The ongoing strike by the West Bengal doctors has sparked massive protests across India with major hospitals in various cities holding solidarity marches on Friday. As Bengal doctors defied the four-hour ultimatum by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, services were badly affected in the state. Services have been affected over the past three days in emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run medical colleges and hospitals and a number of private medical facilities in the state, leaving the patients in the lurch.
Here are 10 latest updates on this major story:
1: Major Delhi hospitals such as AIIMS and Safdarjung held protest marches today. Clueless patients and their relatives were seen outside the OPD at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) . The Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of AIIMS is on strike today over violence against doctors in West Bengal. Nearby Safdarjung Hospital’s Resident Doctors' Association also held protest over violence against doctors. On Friday morning, 80 doctors at Kolkata's RG Kar Medical College and Hospital submitted mass resignation. They have demanded unconditional apology of Mamata Banerjee for her yesterday’s statement.
2: Well-known film actress Aparna Sen visited NRS Medical College and Hospital and said, “I would like to request the state Chief Minister to please come here and talk to the junior doctors. If you felt bad with someone’s behaviour, please forgive them. They are small children and future doctors, being elder to them, you should come here and talk to them. You head the health ministry…Don’t you think that you should come here and talk to these junior doctors. My earnest request to you to meet them here without any condition. Do you think that it will be good for Bengal if they will leave our state.” President-elect of the World Medical Association has also reacted to this ongoing strike. In a video message, the top official said that the violence against doctors must end. He said that such acts are simply unacceptable.
3: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has appealed the agitating doctors to exercise restraint. He said that he will soon write to Chief Ministers of all states regarding the security of doctors in the country.
4: The Indian Medical Association has called for nationwide protest today. In a statement released earlier, the IMA said that, “The gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata is of barbaric nature. Dr Paribaha Mukharjee who was brutally attacked is critical and fighting for his life. IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young doctor. Entire medical fraternity expresses our solidarity with the Residents who are on strike. Our National President, Dr Santanu Sen has visited all the medical colleges in Kolkata and has been in touch with the government and the police which has led to the arrest of four culprits in this regard. National President Elect Dr Rajan Sharma and Honorary Secretary General Dr RV Asokan are travelling to Kolkata to identify with the Residents. IMA Headquarters hereby declares All India Protest Day on Friday 14.06.2019.”
5: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given an ultimatum to the protesting doctors. She had given four hours to them else she had said that the doctors will be thrown out of hostels. Banerjee claimed that the agitation was part of a conspiracy of her political rivals. The Trinamool Congress chief alleged that outsiders had entered medical colleges and hospitals to create disturbances. She also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to give the strike a communal colour.
6: "The BJP, with help from the CPI(M), is indulging in Hindu-Muslim politics. I am shocked to see their love affair," Banerjee said. "BJP chief Amit Shah is encouraging his party cadre to create communal tension and run a propaganda on Facebook."
7: However, the doctors have defied the ultimatum.
8: West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi have also appealed to the agitating doctors in the state to resume duty in the interest of patients. Tripathi met representatives of the state units of the Joint Platform of Doctors and Doctors' Association of ABVP at his official residence on Thursday.
9: "Governor has appealed to them to resume their duties in the interest of the patients. Governor also extends his appeal to all the doctors in the state for joining back in their duties to take care of patients," a statement issued by the Raj Bhawan said.
10: The memoranda of the doctors to Tripathi is being sent to the state government for appropriate action, it said. "They have demanded adequate security and protection for the doctors in the hospitals, proper investigation and punishment for all those who attacked the junior doctors and redressal of their other grievances," the statement said.