Here's all you need to know about doctors strike across India

Updated: Jun 14, 2019, 21:29 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Amidst the strike by doctors across the country, the Indian Medical Association is likely to send an appeal to the PM Narendra Modi and the Union Home Minister demanding a stringent "central hospital protection Act" to protect doctors from attack

Mamata Banerjee. Pic/Twitter Mamata banerjee
Mamata Banerjee. Pic/Twitter Mamata banerjee

The healthcare system in West Bengal and across the country has been hit severely for the last four days after the junior doctors began their strike in Kolkata. Cases of violence against doctors have become the new norm in our country and in several other countries, including the USA, the UK, and China.

On June 14, 2019, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan took note of the ongoing nationwide strike over violence against doctors in West Bengal. While speaking to ANI, Vardhan appealed to the chief minister of the state, Mamata Banerjee, to not make this an issue of prestige. Furthermore, Dr. Vardhan also assured doctors that the Central government is committed to ensuring their safety.

On June 11, 2019, a brawl took place at the state-run NRS Hospital, after a junior doctor was allegedly beaten up by the kin of a 75-year-old patient who died there on the night of June 10. This tragic incident brought the regular services at the hospital to a standstill. The family members of the deceased patient alleged that the deceased lost his life due to medical negligence.

The family of the deceased patient thrashed a junior doctor, an intern named Paribaha Mukherjee. The junior doctor sustained serious skull injury in the attack and was immediately admitted in the intensive care unit of the Institute of Neurosciences in Kolkata's Park Circus area. Later, his condition was reportedly stable.

Consequently, junior doctors of the hospital locked up the hospital gates stopped work at the OPD and started a 'dharna' to protest against the attack. And, since then, the health care services have taken a beating in the state for the last four days.

On Friday, actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen appealed to the Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee to "change her stance a bit" and take a more humane view of the threats faced by doctors. Sen urged Banerjee to speak to the striking doctors to normalise the situation, even as the agitation saw nation-wide solidarity from AIIMS and other hospitals across states.

Also Read: Despite requests by patients' families Bengal doctor's strike continues

On the same day, the junior doctors who are on strike in Kolkata received support from doctors and medical practitioners from all across the country. Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors joined the nationwide protest. Doctors at Hyderabad Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences too held a protest march. Delhi Medical Association and Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS also called for a strike today. Besides the above-mentioned associations, the Indian Medical Council has also come out in support of the doctors. Later in the day, the Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS also met Union health minister Harsh Vardhan.

Later in the day, the Calcutta High Court refused to pass any interim order on the strike by junior doctors at state-run hospitals in protest against the attack on two of their colleagues by family members of a patient. A division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Suvra Ghosh asked the state government to persuade the striking doctors to resume work and provide usual services to patients. The court also directed the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government to apprise it of the steps taken following the attack on the junior doctors at a city hospital on Monday night.

On the very same day, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava filed a PIL before the Supreme Court over safety and security of government doctors across the country and sought a direction from the SC for the deployment of government security personnel at each government hospital and also to formulate strict guidelines.

In Mumbai, doctors at KEM hospital assembled in order to protest against the repeated violence taking place against the medical fraternity. The doctors at KEM also organised a blood donation drive in order to portray that patients mean the world to them and that the doctors breathe and live for patients.

On June 13, 2019, chief minister Mamata Banerjee took note of the health-sector crisis in Bengal but not in a way the agitating doctors were hoping for. Mamata reached the SSKM Hospital campus around noon and ordered the striking
junior doctors to "get back to work in four hours," failing which the government would act against them, which would include
eviction from hostels. This obviously didn't go too well with the doctors who were on a strike.

Also Read: Calcutta High Court refuses to pass interim order on doctors' strike

Soon, #DoctorsFightBack started to trend on Twitter and netizens took to the micro-blogging site to express their concerns over the safety and security of doctors across India.

Here's how netizens and Twitterati's are supporting the doctors who are on strike across the country:

The Indian Medical Association is likely to send an appeal to the PM Narendra Modi and the Union home minister demanding a stringent "central hospital protection Act" to protect doctors from attack. In a rare show of solidarity, doctors from private and from corporate-run hospitals also came forward to support the protest.

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