Doctor Strike : Is Banerjee government really responsible?

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Junior doctors in major metropolitan cities of the country including Delhi, Maharashtra and other cities have boycotted work today to express solidarity with their Bengal counterparts whose strike to protest the attack on an intern at a government-run hospital in Kolkata entered its fourth day. The protests in Delhi have hit medical services in the national capital; resident doctors at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital stayed away from work. Declaring Smt. Mamata Banarjee government liable for the doctor’s strike in Bengal, the current Union Health Minister Mr.Harsh Vardhan appealed to her to “not make it a prestige issue”. The Health Minister also assured the lot of doctors all over the country stating that the government is “committed to ensuring their safety”.

Given below are the latest developments of this nationwide chaos : 

  1. Minister Vardhan puts the entire blame on Mamata Banerjee quoting “instead of taking action against the attackers(of the doctor), she(Mamata Banerjee) gave the doctors an ultimatum, warned and threatened them because of which doctors of West Bengal and across the country are angry”. He even remarked “if one chief minister shows sensitivity and changes her behavior, it will end the suffering of patients across the country”.
  2. AIIMS medical superintendent shared in a statement today, “emergency services will function normally as the resident doctors will purportedly continue to work as per their scheduled duties.” As is shared by him, inpatient wards, labour and maternity care facilities will function normally. The outpatient department and diagnostic services will largely remain suspended today. 
  3. The country’s leading doctors’ body, Indian Medical Association (IMA) urges members of its state branches to stage protests and wear black badges in singleness of purpose with Bengali doctors today. The association also soughts on asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to bring out a central law against such violence.
  4. Alongside IMA, the Delhi Medical Association too has called for a statewide medical shutdown today. 
  5. Patients in Maharshtra are also facing quite a distress since almost about 4,500 doctors in Maharashtra stopped attending to patients in all the 26 government hospitals in the state.  “We are shutting down our outpatient departments, ward and academic services from 8 am to 5 pm today. Emergency services will not be hampered,” the state doctors’ body shared in unison.
  6. In Hyderabad, doctors staged a protest at the Nizam’s Institute Of Medical Sciences.
  7. Started on Tuesday, the junior doctors’ strike in West Bengal has also made its way interfering services in the state’s government-run hospitals. Over the last four days, services have been affected in emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals. 
  8. Dozens of doctors over Kolkata and Darjeeling are using resignation as a means of expressing their rage and protesting violence against doctors in the state.
  9. Showing her depths of audacity, Ms Banerjee during a visit to a state-run hospital in Kolkata warned doctors who won’t return to work. “Doctors who don’t return to work must leave the hostel. They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way,” she said. Furthermore she added, “I condemn doctors who have gone on strike. Policemen die in line of duty but the police don’t go on a strike.” She has accused the BJP and the CPM of engineering the strike and playing “Hindu-Muslim politics”.
  10. Instances of medical personnel being assaulted by relatives of patients are fairly common across the country. In April, authorities of the RML Hospital in Delhi filed a police complaint against a patient’s relative after he allegedly slapped a woman doctor. Earlier this month, a case was registered against 17-year-old boy and his friend for allegedly assaulting a doctor at a Maharashtra hospital after his father died during treatment.

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