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Mamata Banerjee agrees to meet two representatives from each Medical College of Bengal

Banerjee’s decision came as doctors from across the country joined the 17 June strike call by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

SNS | New Delhi |

Amid intensifying protests by doctors across the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be meeting two representatives from each Medical College of the state in Nabana on Monday.

According to reports, the Bengal government has sent letters to junior doctors requesting them to come for the meeting at 3 pm.

Reports say that two representatives each from 14 medical colleges have been asked to report.

However, there is no information on whether the media will be allowed to be present at the meeting – a demand the doctors had raised in their press conference on Sunday.

Banerjee’s announcement came as doctors from across the country joined the 17 June strike call by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) with the withdrawal of non-essential health services.

Doctors at Lucknow’s King George Medical University (KGMU), Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Sir Sunderlal Hospital in Banaras Hindu University, Guwahati Medical College, and hospitals in Bhubaneswar were seen holding protests in solidarity with the agitating doctors of West Bengal.

On Sunday, the junior doctors in Kolkata, who have been on protest since Tuesday following an attack on their colleagues on Monday night by relatives of a patient, said that they want to end the impasse and talk to Banerjee on the condition that the meeting is held in the open in the presence of media.

“We want immediate end to this impasse by discussion with the CM, which, to maintain transparency, shouldn’t be behind closed doors, but open to media under camera coverage,” said a spokesperson of the protesting doctors after the General Body meeting in the afternoon.

Protest by doctors entered the seventh day on Monday as agitating junior doctors maintained there will be no work at any medical college and hospital in West Bengal until they are given full protection.

Agitating doctors had on Saturday evening turned down an invite for a closed-door meeting with Banerjee at Nabanna (the state secretariat), reiterating their request to the CM to visit them at NRS for an open discussion.

Addressing the media on Saturday evening, a spokesperson said that they are open for dialogue.

“If the chief minister extends one hand we will extend 10 of ours… we are eagerly waiting to break the deadlock,” the spokesperson said.

By Saturday, over 300 doctors had tendered their resignations in protest of an assault on junior doctors at NRS by relatives of a 75-year-old patient who died on Monday night. The family of the patient alleged of medical negligence.