All-India doctors on massive strike; patients including Bangladeshis suffer | The Daily Star
12:57 PM, June 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:14 PM, June 17, 2019

All-India doctors on massive strike; patients including Bangladeshis suffer

Doctors across India are on a massive strike today in solidarity with their West Bengal counterparts who have agreed to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the condition that the meeting is held in the open in the presence of media.

The strike all over India is causing untold sufferings to patients, among whom many are Bangladeshis went to India for receiving treatment, reports our Kolkata correspondent.

While most Bangladeshis did not have to face any trouble in the last six days as services were available at private hospitals until today. However, today, all doctors across India are observing strike today.

Bimal Karmakar came to Kolkata from Shakhari Bazar of Dhaka. He had an appointment at a private hospital at Mukundupur for his father who suffers from kidney problems. But due to the strike, none of the doctors were available.

‘‘The foreign patients could have been left out of the purview of this strike. It becomes very expensive for us to even stay one more day as we come here solely for treatment purposes,’’ said Bimal, according to our Kolkata correspondent.

Another Sumon Mollah, who came to India from Magura could not complete his father’s kidney transplant due to the strike, the correspondent reports.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee has agreed to meet two representatives from each Medical College of West Bengal. Her decision came as doctors from across the country joined the strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), reports The Statesman. 

The Statesman reports, the nationwide protest comes amid new allegations that a doctor at the AIIMS in Delhi was abused by the relatives of a patient on Sunday after midnight.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for a 24-hour-long nationwide protest today that will badly hit medical services across the country.

All non-essential services, including OPDs, will be closed. The IMA is also set to stage a ‘dharna’ at IMA headquarters in Delhi.

Resident Doctors' Association of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, which earlier decided not to join the strike, announced withdrawal of all nonessential services from noon today after a junior doctor at its trauma centre was assaulted this morning, reports our New Delhi correspondent. 

The medicos at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre was allegedly assaulted for "giving preferential care to a critical patient", the RDA said in a statement.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) launched a three-day nationwide protest starting Friday to express solidarity with the doctors at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata who stopped working in all state-run medical institutions following an assault on two interns.

The doctors began the protest after an intern at the NRS Medical College and Hospital was seriously injured following a clash between junior doctors and relatives of a patient who died late on Monday night due to alleged negligence.

The intern, named Paribaha Mukherjee, sustained a serious skull injury in the attack. Consequently, junior doctors locked up the hospital gates, stopped work at the OPD and started a ‘dharna’ to protest against the attack.

Resident Doctors’ Association of AIIMS will go on strike from 12 noon today till 6:00 am tomorrow. However, emergency services including casualty, ICU and Labour room will continue to function.

Health care services in the Uttar Pradesh capital will largely remain largely crippled as over 10,000 doctors are on strike in support of their counterparts in West Bengal.

The resident doctors of King George’s Medical University (KGMU) and Queen Mary’s hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) proceeded on strike at 6:00 am and will stay off work till Tuesday 6:00 am, according to a report in IANS.

Doctors in Kerala from both private and state-run hospitals too went on a token strike on Monday in the wake of the recent assault on their counterparts in West Bengal.

While medicos from the private sector have opted for a day-long strike with just the casualty services to be made available, those in the government sector would remain off-duty for two hours from all out-patient services from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.

Amid protests, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had on Saturday written to the chief ministers of all States and Union Territories directing them to take strict action against persons assaulting medical practitioners.

Nearly 300 doctors have tendered their resignations protesting the assault on medicos at Kolkata’s Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital.

On Friday, doctors from hospitals across the country boycotted work to express solidarity with the Bengal medicos. In Delhi, doctors at 15 hospitals including the AIIMS had joined the protest.

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