West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday gave doctors at Nil Ratan Sircar (NRS) Medical College in Kolkata four hours to stop their protest and resume work or face action. "I saw people waiting for treatment outside the hospital today, some of them were really critical. This is shameful and I condemn the unlawful protest," Banerjee, the Health Minister of Bengal said. The doctors are on a cease-work agitation after their colleagues were allegedly assaulted by a patient’s family.
Asking the doctor to resume work, Banerjee said, "We have arrested five in connection with the NRS issue, but the doctors are still protesting. Some of them are not junior doctors but outsiders. If they do not withdraw protest and resume regular work within four hours, we’ll review their profiles," she said.
"Government will not support any of them if they don’t get back to work in the next four hours. This is an essential Service. They have to get back to work by 2 pm. The kind of behaviour they are doing with patients is unacceptable. Let the good sense prevail, rest we will take care. But if they come back to work, action will be taken. As per SC, doctors cannot go on strike," she added
The TMC supremo visited state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata Thursday. Doctors raised "we want justice" slogans during her visit. She was shown placards by students that read, "no security no service".
Reacting to the protest, she said it’s a controversy by a specific political party. "BJP has gone mad and is trying to give the protest a communal colour." She asked the police to look into it and ensure no one is allowed inside the hospital premises apart from patients who have been undergoing treatment in the hospital
The protest at NRS hospital had snowballed to all 13 medical college hospitals and at least six district hospitals on Wednesday.
AIIMS Hospital in New Delhi has also called for a strike on Friday in solidarity with the Bengal doctors.
The protests began after relatives of a deceased patient, Sayeed, allegedly attacked doctors at the NRS Hospital over "negligence". Two junior doctors were critically injured in the clash. Following the incident, interns and junior doctors locked two gates of the hospital, preventing patients and their relatives from entering or leaving the premises and also refused to release the body of the deceased. The Out-Patient Department (OPD) and Emergency services were shut on Tuesday and Wednesday.