Resident doctors of AIIMS in Delhi, who had boycotted work on Friday in protest against attacks on their colleagues in Kolkata, and given 48-hour ultimatum to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to meet the demands of the state's agitating doctors, on Sunday decided to call off their strike and resume their duties from Monday.
"Keeping patient care in the center, hospital services would not be disrupted & shall continue as usual for now. In case the lock-jam does not end, we will be forced to resort to escalation of the protest," the Resident Doctors Association said in a statement.
Delhi: RDA AIIMS withdraws strike, to function as usual for now. States, "Keeping patient care in the center, hospital services would not be disrupted & shall continue as usual for now. In case the lock-jam does not end, we will be forced to resort to escalation of the protest" pic.twitter.com/HzGRgmSw1i— ANI (@ANI) June 16, 2019
It came hours after agitating junior doctors in West Bengal softened their stand on Sunday and asserted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was free to decide the venue of the meeting with them, but stressed that it should be held in open.
Banerjee had on Saturday invited the agitators for closed-door talks, but the offer was turned down by them. Talking to the media after a two-and-half-hour-long meeting of their governing body, a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors said, "We are keen to end this impasse. We are ready to hold talks with the chief minister at a venue of her choice, provided it is held in the open, in the presence of media persons, and not behind closed doors."
The spokesperson said the venue should be spacious enough to accommodate representatives from all medical colleges and hospitals in the state.
Sources, however, told News Nation that the Trinamool Congress chief had asked the doctors to meet her at Nabanna (State Secretariat) at 3 pm on Monday. Sources added that Banerjee rejected the doctors demand of media's presence covering the meeting. To end the impasse, two medical representatives from 14 colleges will meet the CM tomorrow. Chief secretary, additional and principal secretary health and the director of Medical Education will be present at the meeting.
Earlier, the doctors of AIIMS had insisted that Banerjee visit the NRS Medical College and Hospital, the epicentre of the agitation. Junior doctors across the state are observing a strike in protest against an assault on two of their colleagues at the NRS, allegedly by the family members of a patient who died on Monday night.
Services continued to remain affected for the sixth day on Sunday in the emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals and private medical facilities in the state, leaving several patients in the lurch.
(With PTI inputs)