Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, which earlier decided not to join the all-India strike on Monday, announced withdrawal of all nonessential services from noon after a junior doctor at its trauma centre was assaulted in the early hours of the day.
Healthcare services at government and private hospitals in the national capital will be hit as scores of doctors, including those at AIIMS, decided to boycott work for a day in solidarity with doctors protesting in Bengal.
A medico at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre had allegedly been assaulted for “giving preferential care to a critical patient”, the RDA said in a statement.
In a briefing to the press, the RDA said it was the duty of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of doctors’ safety.
Doctors'strike: “We work for patients day and night. Don't our lives matter to you? Now that the protest has spread across the country, is it not the PM’s duty to speak with the Chief Minister?”: AIIMS (Delhi) Resident Doctors' Association. pic.twitter.com/9jKgM2jNHF— NDTV (@ndtv) June 17, 2019
While eschewing any political affiliation, the RDA blamed West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for the lack of safety.
“Won’t belong to any political party. One woman chief minister is holding the security and safety of doctors at stake,” the Resident Doctors’Association said, quoted NDTV.
“We want a law that scares people so much that they think a thousand times before attacking any medical personnel,” they said.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has given the strike call with the withdrawal of nonessential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters in Delhi.
Doctors of the AIIMS also held a protest march in the campus between 8 am and 9 am. “We once again urge the West Bengal administration to fulfil the demands of the striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest in the best interest of the general public,” a statement issued by the RDA said, adding a meeting of its general body will be held at 6 pm to decide the further course of action.
Doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital, as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital are joining the strike.
The apex medical body, IMA, said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday.
Emergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said.
The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have extended their support to the strike.
“Emergent Executive Committee Meeting convened decided to support the call given by IMA for withdrawal of non-essential services on 17th June (Monday) for 24 hours (6am to 6am) to protest against violence against doctors and hospitals. All clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic centres and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services,” a statement by the DMA said.
Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country have chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch.
The apex medical body, IMA, has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff.
Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed, it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the agitating doctors in West Bengal are likely to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee later in the day at an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat in Howrah, and work out ways to resolve the impasse.
(With PTI inputs)
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.