Medical services to shut down on May 17 in solidarity with West Bengal doctors
GUWAHATI: To extend solidarity towards doctors of West Bengal who have been facing violence over the past few days, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for a nation-wide strike on June 17.
The apex body of doctors has called for a nationwide withdrawal of non-essential services in all healthcare institutions on Monday. The out-patient departments (OPDs) of Assam hospitals may also remain closed for 24 hours from 6 am, while emergency and causality services will continue to function.
“On Monday, all non-essential services including the OPDs will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am to 6 am the next day. All emergency and casualty services will continue to function,” said the IMA in a statement.
The IMA also renewed its demand for a central law to check violence against healthcare workers in hospitals and said that the law should provide a minimum sentence of seven-year jail to violators.
Further, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Assam State Branch also condemned the attacks on doctors and hospitals. State president Dr Satyajit Borah and members of IMA Assam condemned the growing trend of intolerance against poor outcome and medical treatment and subsequent assault on doctors and ransacking of hospital property.
They also expressed their concern over the lukewarm response on the part of law enforcing agencies resulting in the release of culprits after a few days of police custody.
Extending their support, doctors and students of Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) also staged a protest and took part in a demonstration at the GMCH premises on Friday, June 14.
Further, in view of the recent assault on doctors in West Bengal, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare on Saturday wrote a letter to the Chief Ministers of all States and UTs drawing their attention for strict action against any person who assaults doctors.
Expressing deep concern over the recent act of violence against doctors, the Union Health Minister stated that incidents of assaults on doctors are reported from different parts of the country and this leads to sudden strike by doctors, gravely affecting the healthcare services. “Resident doctors in many parts of the country are agitating and not providing healthcare services. Agitations by doctors in West Bengal seem to be getting aggravated and taking shape of strike by both Government and Private sector doctors, all over the country”, he wrote.