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Doctors stir: Home Ministry sends advisory to West Bengal

A scene at the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital in New Delhi during doctors' strike on June 15, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

As the stand off between the West Bengal government and the junior doctors of the State-run hospitals continued for the sixth consecutive day on Saturday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought an urgent report from the State government on the on-going strike and also issued an advisory on the issue

The Ministry said, “This Ministry is in receipt of a number of representations from doctors, and medical associations from different parts of country for their security in view of the ongoing doctors’ strike in West Bengal. It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the ongoing strike by the doctors.”

Though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed her government had accepted “all demands of the protesting doctors”, the protesting junior doctors persisted with their demand that the Chief Minister visit the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital (NRSMCH).

 

Five arrested for attack on Kolkata doctors

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said five persons had been arrested in connection with the attack on junior doctors on Monday at the State-run Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital (NRSMCH).

Appealing to the striking junior doctors to call off their agitation, she said that at every hospital in Kolkata, a team of police officers led by an officer of the Assistant Commissioner of Police rank would be deployed. “If they have any other demand, we will look into those also, but I appeal to them to restore normal healthcare services,” Ms. Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister said she had waited at the State Secretariat on Friday and Saturday so that representatives of junior doctors could meet her but no one turned up. “When I am trying to talk, you are saying no. Don’t you think that government headquarters (State Secretariat) is best possible place for a meeting,” she told presspersons at the Secretariat.

Ms. Banerjee said no coercive action would be taken against the protesting doctors, and brushed aside the en masse resignation by senior doctors, saying that “mass resignation has no value in law”.

However, a statement by the Joint Forum of Junior Doctors said, “CM has tried to say that we are against a solution and conversation but we want her to come to NRS and listen to us and take necessary steps to serve the ailing people.”

Saturday saw several attempts by the State government to bring the protesting doctors to the negotiating table. A delegation of five senior doctors who met the Chief Minister on Friday tried to convince protesting doctors to join the talks but failed. Similar attempts by State’s Director of Medical Education and Rajya Sabha MP and president of Indian Medical Association Shantanu Sen were also rebuffed.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has written to Chief Ministers of all States and UTs drawing attention for strict action against any person assaulting doctors. The Minister has also called for strict law enforcement to ensure that doctors and clinical establishments discharge their duties without fear of any violence.


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Printable version | Nov 26, 2021 2:47:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mha-issues-advisories-to-west-bengal-seeks-reports-on-political-violence-doctors-stir/article27949308.ece

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