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West Bengal: Doctors strike enters 5th day

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 15, Jun 2019, 20:17 pm IST | UPDATED: 15, Jun 2019, 20:19 pm IST

West Bengal: Doctors strike enters 5th day Kolkata: With striking junior doctors refusing to meet West Bengal Chief Minister on Friday, Mamata Banerjee again invited them to meet her Saturday evening to end the impasse in government hospitals. In the state, over 200 senior doctors of various government hospitals across the state resigned from their services to show solidarity with agitators. An attack on the doctors triggered the ongoing state-wide stir by medicos.

On Friday, as medical fraternity from Delhi, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand and other states began to rally behind their West Bengal colleagues, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had urged Banerjee not to make the "sensitive matter" a "prestige issue" and ensure an "amicable end" to the stir.
 
The doctors, who struck work for the fourth day on Friday, refused to meet the chief minister, demanding an unconditional apology from her. They also put up six conditions for withdrawal of their stir. Dr Arindam Dutta, a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors said, "We want an unconditional apology from Chief Minister Banerjee for the manner in which she addressed us at the SSKM Hospital yesterday. She should not have said what she said. She should come to the NRS Hospital to meet us,"

The agitating doctors said that Chief Minister Banerjee must visit the injured doctors at the hospital and issue a statement condemning the attack on them. Seeking immediate intervention of the chief minister, the doctors also demanded a judicial probe into the police inaction in providing security to doctors at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital against attack on Monday night.

"We demand documentary evidence and details of the action taken against those who attacked us," said Dutta.

The agitators also demanded unconditional withdrawal of all "false cases and charges" imposed on junior doctors and medical students across West Bengal for going on strike. They also sought improvement of security infrastructure in all health facilities and posting of armed police personnel to shield them from any attack while on duty.

On Thursday, after her visit to the state-run SSKM Hospital, Banerjee had alleged some outsiders had entered the medical colleges to create disturbances. She had also dubbed the agitation as a handiwork of the CPI(M) and the BJP. She had also asked the agitating junior doctors across the state to resume work by 2 pm, failing which she had threatened them with disciplinary actions. The doctors had defied her warning.
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