All-India doctors strike in support of protesting West Bengal colleagues

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Healthcare services at private and government hospitals across the country are likely to be affected on Monday with doctors deciding to boycott work in solidarity with counterparts in West Bengal who are striking against the recent attack on a junior doctor. 

The IMA said, all non-essential medical services including services at Out-Patient Departments (OPD), would be withdrawn for 24 hours starting 6 am on Monday to 6 am on Tuesday.

Resident Doctors’ Association of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to go on strike from 12 noon today till 6 am tomorrow, in support of doctors’ strike over violence against them in West Bengal. However, emergency services including ICU, labour room and casualty shall continue to function.

On Sunday, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had said it will go ahead with its strike on June 17 with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the nation, a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked states to consider enacting specific laws to safeguard doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.

“The States should take all possible preventive and deterrent measures, as deemed required so that a peaceful environment prevails, and doctors and clinical establishments discharge their duties and professional pursuit without fear or any violence and attacks on them,” the Union Minister had said.

IMA, however, demanded a comprehensive Central law in dealing with violence against doctors.

On June 14, in a letter written to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Dr Harsh Vardhan had urged her to ensure an amicable end to the agitation and provide a secure working environment to the doctors.

He stated that the ongoing strike is causing severe hardship to the patients across the country and has adversely impacted healthcare services.