Doctors strike: Union health minister appeals to Bengal CM not to make it prestige issue
New Delhi, June 14: Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan on Friday condemned the violence against doctors in Kolkata and urged patients and their attendants to exercise restraint.
The minister met a delegation of doctors from the AIIMS Resident Doctor Association and said he will take up the matter of doctors' security with all chief ministers and asked the doctors to ensure that essential services to the people are not disrupted.
He appealed to striking doctors across the country to hold only symbolic protests. He told ANI, "I'd like to assure all doctors that the government is committed towards their safety. I appeal to doctors to hold symbolic protests only and continue to carry out their duties."
"I appeal to West Bengal CM to not make this an issue of prestige. She gave the doctors an ultimatum, as a result they got angry and went on strike. Today, I will write to Mamata Banerjee ji and will also try to speak to her on this issue." ANI
With the scores of doctors deciding to boycott work for a day to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in Kolkata, many healthcare services at private and government hospitals nationwide were affected on Friday.
This came after the India Medical Association declared "All India Protest Day" on Friday against the incident and expressed solidarity with the striking doctors.
Earlier on Thursday, striking junior doctors across West Bengal refused to end their protest till their demands on security in government hospitals are met and defied a deadline set by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
#WATCH Resident Doctors at Raipur's Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital raise slogans of 'We Want Justice' as they protest over violence against doctors in West Bengal. #Chhattisgarh pic.twitter.com/70BsCTmGLN— ANI (@ANI) June 14, 2019
The junior doctors have been on strike since Tuesday in protest against the brutal assault on two colleagues in Nilratan Sarkar Medical College and Hospital on Monday night by family members of an octogenarian patient who passed away.
The CM, who holds the health and family welfare portfolio, visited the state-run SSKM hospital around noon on Thursday in the wake of the continuing disruption in medical services and warned junior doctors of action if they did not resume work by 2pm.
Following the warning by Banerjee, emergency services started at SSKM Hospital and Burdwan Medical College. But junior doctors, as a whole, refused to buckle down.
(with PTI inputs)