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National News

Jun 14, 2019

Harsh Vardhan urges Mamata Banerjee to ensure an amicable end to doctors agitation

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has written a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to ensure an amicable end to the doctor's agitation and provide a secure working environment to them. 

He stated that the ongoing strike is causing severe hardship to the patients across the country and has adversely impacted health care services.

In the morning, Dr. Harsh Vardhan met a delegation of resident doctors association of AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Federation of Resident Doctors Association which gave a representation to him on the violence against doctors in West Bengal. 

The Minister said, he will discuss the matter of providing safety to hospitals with the Home Ministry and also take up this matter with the Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of other States so that such incidents can be avoided in the future and doctors are provided a safe work environment. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also urged all patients and their family members to support doctors in performing their duties and professional pursuits in a peaceful and dedicated manner and not to resort to violence. He said, doctors, are an integral pillar of society and often work under stressful and difficult conditions.

In Chandigarh, over 1200 resident doctors at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) held a demonstration to express solidarity with their counterparts protesting in KolKata.

The functioning of the OPDs was partially hit due to the protest. The President of Association of Resident Doctors at the PGIMER claimed all emergency services functioned normally as doctors on duty in an emergency did not join the protest.

Our correspondent reports the protest lasted for five hours and after 1 p.m. doctors returned to their duties.
In government hospitals of Punjab and Haryana, the doctors also wore black ribbons to protest against the Kolkata incident. A demonstration was also held at Government Rajendra Hospital in Patiala. Similar protests have been reported from Faridabad, Sirsa and Bathinda.

In the related development, the Calcutta High Court has refused to pass any interim order on the strike by junior doctors at state-run hospitals throughout West Bengal. A division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Suvra Ghosh asked the state government to persuade the striking doctors to resume work and provide usual services to patients. 

In another development, Indian Medical Association has announced nation-wide strike of doctors on June 17.

Meanwhile, four senior doctors from SSKM hospital met the Chief Minister, who also happens to be the health minister of the state, to discuss ways to resolve the issue. 

In the wake of protests by doctors in West Bengal against the assault on their colleagues, a plea was filed in the Supreme Court Friday seeking to ensure safety and security of doctors in government hospitals across the country. 
The petition sought directions to Union Ministries of Home Affairs and Health as also West Bengal to depute government-appointed security personnel at all government hospitals across the country to ensuring safety and security of the doctors.

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