DOCTORS’ PROTEST … West Bengal health sector on edge as doctors strike work, protest manhandling at hospital


KOLKATA: A doctors’ agitation has taken West Bengal to the edge of a precipice, with chief minister Mamata Banejree’s ultimatum to return to work being ignored by doctors, and some 300 of them resigning their posts Friday. This has put the medical services in the state in jeopardy, while doctors nation-wide are planning solidarity action in the coming days.

CM Mamata

Large numbers of doctors, including the heads of department of medical colleges and other hospitals in Kolkata, Burdwan, Darjeeling and North 24 Parganas districts, sent their resignation letters to the state director of medical education, a report said. The chief minister had issued an ultimatum to doctors to report back to work, with a deadline put at 2pm Thursday, but doctors chose to ignore it.

The CM now says outsiders are instigating the doctors to carry on with the protests. A delegation of doctors met the CM on Friday, but it did not lead to a withdrawal of the strike. The Indian Medical Association on Friday said doctors nation-wide would hold a nation-wide strike on Monday in support of the striking doctors in Kolkata.

Doctors, demanding security at work, have come up with a six-point charter of demands, including an unconditional apology from chief minister Banejree for taking the situation to such a pass. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged both sides to observe restraint and take the situation back to normal.  IHN-NN


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