Bengal Doctors’ Protest Spreads, Health Services Hit In Delhi, Mumbai

Scores of doctors across Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad have decided to boycott work for a day to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in West Bengal. Doctors at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were seen wearing helmets and bandages as they attended to patients.The Bengal doctors have been on a strike since Tuesday, after a junior doctor was assaulted at a government-run hospital in Kolkata by the relatives of a patient who died. The doctors defied Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ultimatum, saying they won’t get back to work until they get better security. Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP and the CPM of engineering the strike and playing “Hindu-Muslim politics”. A team of doctors from AIIMS and other hospitals will meet Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Emergency services will function normally as the resident doctors will purportedly continue to work as per their scheduled duties,” AIIMS medical superintendent DK Sharma said in a statement. He said inpatient wards, labour and maternity care facilities will function normally. The outpatient department and diagnostic services will largely remain suspended today. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), on the other hand, directed members of its state branches to stage protests and wear black badges in solidarity with West Bengal doctors today. It will also ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to bring out a central law against such violence.