Hospitals in Delhi-NCR to join IMA’s strike call tomorrow

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were reportedly attacked in Kolkata. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

Several government and private hospitals in Delhi-NCR have decided to boycott work for a day in support of their striking colleagues in West Bengal on Monday. The move comes in support of a strike call to withdraw non-essential health services across the nation on June 17 by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Doctors at 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 will not function on Monday.

According to the IMA, all OPDs, routine operation theatre services and ward visits won’t function for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday. However, emergency and casualty services will continue to function.

IMA Gurugram would also observe a total closure of OPD services at all places across Gurugram. Only emergency services will remain open.

A team of various IMA Gurugram members will be formed to oversee the execution of shut down. Meanwhile, it also plans to paint or paste the strike or shutdown banners across every clinic, nursing home, hospital or diagnostic centers in the area.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were reportedly attacked and seriously injured by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. Though, the ongoing standoff with the Bengal government showed signs of easing Saturday after the latter agreed to a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.

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.

It has also called for exemplary punishment for perpetrators of violence should be a component of the central law and suitable amendments be brought in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).