Amid a massive strike by doctors across the country, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking safety and security to government doctors on Tuesday.
The issue of the safety and security of on-duty doctors reached the Supreme Court on Friday.
The plea was filed seeking the court’s direction to the Centre and the West Bengal government to provide an “enabling environment” for medicos in government hospitals across the country.
The petition filed by advocate Alok Srivastava cited a study by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), stating that more than 75 per cent of doctors across the country have faced some form of violence. This study concluded that 50 per cent of violent incidents took place in the Intensive Care Unit of hospitals, and in 70 per cent of the cases, the relatives of the patients were involved.
Srivastava said the petition has been filed under Article 32 of the Constitution. Srivastava claimed that it was his public duty to move the apex court and seek its urgent intervention to address issues which led to the strike and protests by doctors of various medical colleges and hospitals across India.
The petition sought government-appointed uniformed security personnel at every government hospital in India for the safety and security of medical practitioners. It also demanded strict action against the perpetrators of the attack on the doctor in West Bengal.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had on Saturday written to the chief ministers of all States and Union Territories directing them to take strict action against persons assaulting medical practitioners.
The medicos began the protest after an intern at the NRS Medical College and Hospital was seriously injured following a clash between junior doctors and relatives of a patient who died late on Monday night due to alleged negligence.
The intern, named Paribaha Mukherjee, sustained a serious skull injury in the attack. Consequently, junior doctors locked up the hospital gates, stopped work at the OPD and started a ‘dharna’ to protest against the attack.
The protest spread to other parts of the country with doctors boycotting work in solidarity with their West Bengal counterparts.
Meanwhile, doctors across the nation are on a massive strike today. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for the 24-hour-long nationwide protest that will badly hit medical services across the country.