Doctors Safety: IMA Calls for Nationwide Strike Today in Support of Protesting West Bengal Doctors

New Delhi, June 17: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday will go ahead with its strike with the withdrawal of all non-essential services, including out-patient services, across the country in the wake of the recent assault on a junior doctor in West Bengal. The announcement came on Sunday, a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked states and union territories to consider enacting specific legislation for the protection of medical professionals from any form of violence.

The IMA, however, demanded a central law to deal with violence against doctors, medical staff and hospital. “Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed. Exemplary punishment of perpetrators of violence should be a component of the Central law,” it said. Patients Suffer As Nationwide Agitation Cripples Medical Services Across India.

“Suitable amendments should be brought in IPC and CrPC. Effective implementation of Law has to be ensured by incorporating suitable clauses. 19 States have already passed legislation in this regard. Hospitals should be declared as Safe Zones,” the IMA demanded. West Bengal Doctors' Strike: Accepted All Valid Demands, End Stir, Mamata Banerjee Appeals Agitating Docs.

The apex medical body, IMA, said that all non-essential services, including OPD (Outdoor Patient Department) services, will be withdrawn for 24 hours beginning from 6 am on Monday to 6 am on Tuesday. Emergency services will continue to function, it said.

Doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, RML Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital will not function on Monday.

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. In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch.

(With PTI Inputs)