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Indian Medical Association declares nationwide strike of doctors on Monday against Bengal attack

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 14 June 2019, 06:26 PM
The IMA also said that they should be given assurance of security from the state government. (File Photo: PTI)
The IMA also said that they should be given assurance of security from the state government. (File Photo: PTI)

Indian Medical Association (IMA), that held a solidarity protest across India against the violence in West Bengal, on Friday announced withdrawal of all non-essential medical services on June 17 if demands of doctors are not met.

The IMA also said that they should be given assurance of security from the state government before they resume their duties.

"Today we held a solidarity protest across India. On Monday (June 17) there will be a complete bandh if the demand is not met," the IMA said.   

The apex body of doctors in the country also renewed its demand for a central law to check violence against health care workers in hospitals and said it should have a provision for a minimum of seven-year jail sentence to violaters. 

"IMA condemns the recent incident of violence against Dr Paribaha Mukherjee who was brutally attacked by a violent mob at NRS Medical College, Kolkata and demands an exemplary action by the state government. All the legitimate demands of the resident doctors in West Bengal should be accepted unconditionally,"  RV Asokan, Secretary General of IMA, said.

In the wake of an attack on junior doctors of state-run NRS Hospital on Tuesday, the IMA asked the members of all its state branches to stage protests and wear black badges on Friday.      

In a communique to all its state presidents and secretaries, the IMA asked them to organise demonstrations in front of the district collectors' offices from 10 am to 12 noon on Friday and hand over a memorandum addressed to the prime minister to the collectors in every district.

Indian Medical Association (IMA) leader Soubhik Debbarma said that to protest the violence against doctors in different parts of the country, specially in Kolkata, doctors in all the Northeastern states are discharging their duties in all the government and non-government hospitals and nursing homes wearing black badges.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has urged protesting doctors to exercise restraint and continue serving patients.

He also appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to not make this sensitive matter a "prestige issue" and said that he will write to her in this regard.

"Despite getting beaten so badly, doctors have only asked her (Mamata Banerjee) to provide them with adequate security and also demanded action against the perpetrators of the violence as per the law," Vardhan said.

"But instead of doing that, she warned them and gave an ultimatum which angered doctors across the country and they proceeded on strike. So if the chief minister acts in a sensitive manner in such a grave scenario, patients across the country will not suffer. I plead to the West Bengal chief minister to not make this an issue of prestige," he said.

He assured doctors that the government is committed to ensuring their safety and urged them to ensure that essential services are not disrupted.

"I appeal to them that they can hold symbolic protests but should also continue to work so that patients do not suffer," the Union health minister said.

First Published: Friday, June 14, 2019 03:42 PM
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