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Doctors resign en masse as protests by medicos intensify in West Bengal, other states

The Calcutta High Court refused to pass an interim order on the doctors’ strike.

SNS | New Delhi |

At least 43 doctors submitted their resignations to the Director of Medical Education and Ex-officio Secretary, West Bengal, on Friday over violence against doctors in the state.

A total of 27 doctors of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Darjeeling, were among those who tendered their resignations protesting the assault on doctors at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital on Monday.

At Kolkata’s RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, 16 doctors submitted their resignation.

“We the following doctors of R.G. Kar Medical College have so far been trying our level best to run the hospital service smoothly. You are aware that the present situation is not ideal for patient care service,” the doctors wrote,” they wrote in their resignation letter to the Director of Medical Education.

“In response to prevailing situation as we are unable to provide service, we would like to resign from our duty,” the letter states.

Reports say that the number of doctors resigning in protest might rise.

Junior doctors across the state have ceased work in solidarity with protesting doctors of NRS.

The impasse at NRS began a day after family members of a 75-year-old patient who died there late on Monday night assaulted doctors alleging medical negligence.

An intern named Paribaha Mukherjee sustained a serious skull injury in the attack and was admitted in the intensive care unit of the Institute of Neurosciences. Mukherjee’s condition is reportedly improving and he will be released from the hospital soon.

Meanwhile, protests spread to other parts of the country.

“All doctors of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital are fully in support of our colleagues in West Bengal and strongly protest against growing tendency of violence against doctors, all private OPD clinics at the hospital will remain closed today,” Doctor’s Forum Society, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said in a statement, as quoted by ANI.

Members of Resident Doctors’ Association of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi wore helmets while treating patients as a mark of protest against “worsening of violence against medical doctors in West Bengal”.

About 15,000 doctors and nurses in private hospitals across Karnataka joined the nationwide strike being staged on Friday.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been under fire from opposition parties, intellectuals and doctors for her ‘ultimatum’ to protesting doctors on Thursday.

Filmmaker Aparna Sen met protesting doctors at Kolkata’s NRS College and Hospital today.

She urged Banerjee to come to NRS and meet the doctors.

“I’d like to request CM to come here and talk to the doctors. If you felt bad due to someone’s behavior, please forgive them. Do you think it’ll be good for Bengal if they will leave our state?” she was quoted as saying by ANI.

On the other hand, the Calcutta High Court refused to pass an interim order on the doctors’ strike.

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 NRS.

The court was hearing a PIL by Kunal Saha of People for Better Treatment, who seeks that the doctors’ strike be declared illegal.

The next hearing will take place on 21 June.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday assured doctors that the Government was committed towards their safety and also appealed to them to hold symbolic protests and continue with their duties.

He further appealed to West Bengal CM Banerjee to not make it an issue of prestige. He said, the ultimatum issued by Mamata had angered the doctors and thus the strike gained nationwide significance.