New Delhi, Jun 18: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it will hear in July a plea seeking safety and security of doctors in government hospitals. A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant observed that there was no urgency to hear the public interest litigation (PIL) as the strike by doctors in West Bengal and other states had been called off.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who filed the plea, had on Monday mentioned the matter before the court which had agreed to take it up today. He had cited the assault on one junior doctor in NRS hospital in Kolkata earlier this month."Today, I apprised the court that the strike has been called off. The court said that doctors' safety is a serious issue. It said that the hearing on the plea will take place before a regular bench in July," he told reporters. Doctors' Strike: Mamata Banerjee Meets Protesters, Accepts Proposal to Set Up Grievance Redressal Cell in Govt Hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has filed an intervention application in the matter seeking protection of doctors in hospitals across the country."The IMA has filed an intervention application in my PIL. The IMA has extended support to my cause. There is a need for a strict law on doctors' safety," Srivastava said.
In his plea, Srivastava has sought a direction from the apex court for the deployment of government-appointed security personnel at all government hospitals as well as the formulation of strict guidelines for the purpose. He submitted that "strictest action" be taken against those who assaulted the doctor at the Kolkata hospital. The doctor was allegedly attacked by relatives of a patient who died on June 10 at the hospital.
Highlighting incidents of attack on government doctors by attendants and relatives of patients, the petition cited a study by the IMA which stated that more than 75 per cent of doctors across the country have faced some form of violence. The protesting doctors in West Bengal had on Monday called off their strike after a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.