The Supreme Court Tuesday deferred the hearing on a plea seeking protection of doctors in government hospitals, saying that there is “no urgency” to hear the matter since the doctors have called off their strike in West Bengal and other states.
A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant said it will not issue a notice (to the Centre) but is keeping the larger issue of protection of doctors open.
“We agreed to hear the plea today as there was a strike by doctors and medical fraternity in West Bengal and other states. The strike has been called off and there appears no urgency to hear the petition. List (the matter) before an appropriate bench,” it said according to PTI.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) also filed an impleadment application seeking the court’s intervention into the plea already filed, saying protection needs to be provided to doctors across the country.
The bench said it needs to take a holistic view in providing security to doctors.
“We can’t protect doctors at the cost of other citizens. We have to look at the larger picture. We are not against the protection given to them,” the bench said.
The agitating doctors called off the massive 7-day strike on Monday evening after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday agreed to nearly all the demands presented by them following a one-and-half hour-long meeting with the representatives of different medical colleges of the state at Nabanna (secretariat).
The announcement of the end of the strike was made at NRS Medical College and Hospital – the Ground Zero of the strike.
Protesting doctors reportedly expressed satisfaction following the interaction with the CM, who listened to the grievances of the young medicos and instructed senior officials of the state to act immediately on them.
The meeting, which was called by the CM earlier on Monday at Nabanna, was held in a bid to end the impasse between the state government and agitating doctors that has affected healthcare in Bengal since Tuesday. Banerjee agreed to meet two representatives from 14 medical colleges at the secretariat.
Banerjee also told Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma to appoint nodal police officer in every hospital. She also told the representatives that her government is planning to set up alarms in hospitals which can be used in cases where medical practitioners are threatened with violence.
Junior doctors across the state were protesting against an assault on two of their colleagues at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, allegedly by the family members of a patient who died on Monday night.
The protest developed into a nationwide movement with medicos in Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and other states boycotted work to support their striking colleagues in West Bengal. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for a strike on Monday with the withdrawal of non-essential health services.