ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to meet doctors from state-run hospitals at the secretariat in Nabana, Kolkata, on Monday in a bid to end the nearly week-long shutdown in services. The shutdown and protests began late on July 10 after two doctors were assaulted at a hospital in Kolkata following the death of an elderly patient.
Media reports claim Banerjee will meet two representatives each from medical colleges in West Bengal by 3pm on Monday. Times Now reported that the doctors are demanding that their meeting with Banerjee be telecast live. The proposed meeting comes after days of posturing by both sides; the doctors had turned down invites from Banerjee twice over the weekend, demanding an apology from her.
The announcement of a meeting between Banerjee and the striking doctors comes as medicos across the country joined a strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to demand better security:
In Karnataka, hundreds of private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics suspended outpatient services and people struggled to get care. Government hospitals in the state, however, remained open following a circular from the state government.
"Almost all private hospitals and clinics have shut their OPD services. Emergency and pregnancy cases were taken up," Karnataka IMA president N. Dhanpal told PTI. Prominent hospitals in Bengaluru that joined the strike were Apollo Hospitals, St John's Hospital, Narayana Hrudayalaya and Sagar Hospital, Dhanpal added.
In Maharashtra, more than 40,000 doctors are boycotting work, an IMA official said. Doctors from state-run and private hospitals are boycotting outpatient and other “non-essential” services. "The OPD services have been suspended at various hospitals in support of the strike call," IMA Maharashtra's honorary secretary Dr Suhas Pingale told PTI.
In Odisha, outpatient services in several hospitals were affected as doctors stayed away; emergency and indoor services remained operational. Junior doctors skipped work at Berhampur, Sambalpur and Cuttack. Doctors in many government hospitals, including those in Sambalpur and other districts, staged "symbolic" protest demonstrations instead of resorting to strike.
Organisations such as the Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA), Odisha Medical Teachers Association (OMTA), Junior Doctors Association, Resident Doctors Association, IMA Students Network and Nursing Home Association were supporting the stir.
In Kerala, doctors at state-run hospitals boycotted work for two hours, while those at private hospitals are staying away for 24 hours.
Long queues near outpatient departments (OPDs) were seen in several government hospitals across the state in the early hours of Monday.