Several resident doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences worked with bandages on their heads on Thursday and have decided to boycott work on Friday in solidarity with the Indian Medical Association’s direction to all its State units to protest against the recent attack on doctors in Kolkata.
The assault on junior doctors following the death of a patient at the State-run Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College in Kolkata on June 10 night left an intern seriously injured and the strike, which was initiated there, spread to medical institutions in the district.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on June 12 also directed the members of all its State branches to stage protests and wear black badges on June 14. The AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association has urged the RDAs across the country to join the token strike.
In a statement issued on June 13, the AIIMS RDA said that the ongoing and worsening of violence against medical doctors in West Bengal is worrisome and disheartening.
“There is a complete breakdown of law and order, with reports of mobs attacking doctor hostels with weapons. The government has failed to provide protection and justice to doctors,” the statement read.
“AIIMS RDA condemns this in words and in spirit. Residents across the country are deeply hurt by these turn of events. Keeping in view of our commitment towards safe and non-violent working environment for residents, AIIMS RDA stands in support of our colleagues in West Bengal and has decided to hold protest on June 13 which would be followed by one day strike of work on June 14 which include OPD, routine and ward services, except for emergency services,” the statement said.
They urged the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee to intervene in the matter and address the security concerns so that residents can continue serving patients.
IMA appeals for a Central Act
In a communique to all its State presidents and secretaries, the IMA has asked them to organise demonstrations in front of the district Collectors’ offices from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on June 14 and hand over a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister to the Collectors in every district.
The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) has also urged its members to observe a “Black Day” on June 14 against the brutal attack.
Simultaneously, all the local branches and individual members of the IMA will send an appeal to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, demanding a Central Act on violence against doctors and hospitals.
The IMA has also urged its State branches to communicate the information to the government doctors’ organisations of the States, request for their support and issue a press statement to this effect.
“The gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata, is of barbaric nature. IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young doctor. The entire medical fraternity expresses solidarity with the resident doctors who are on strike. The IMA headquarters hereby declares All India Protest Day on Friday,” an IMA statement said.
Emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many State-run medical colleges and hospitals and a number of private medical facilities in West Bengal have remained closed over the past two days in the wake of the protests.