SAVE THE SAVIOURS – Kolkata Doctors’ Protest

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On the evening of 10th June, eighty-five-year-old Mohammad Syed passed away due to illness in NRS Medical College. The family of the deceased alleged an intern doctor of negligence and they beat him which severely injured him. Later that night, when the family of the deceased came to take his dead body, the other interns demanded an apology from them for beating him. Which resulted in a fight between the interns and the family of the deceased. The two interns, Paribaha Mukhopadhaya and Yash Tekwani, got injured in this clash. 

From Tuesday morning, the doctors have been protesting to demand safety in workplace and punishment for the accused. Other major hospitals of the state joined in the protest i.e. National Institute of Homeopathy and SSKM etc. Moreover, the Outdoor Patient Department services have been stopped since Tuesday. 

Indian Medical Council (IMA) had lent their support to the agitation. Later, the other Health Institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and United Resident and Doctors Association of India (URDAI) etc. also showed their support by putting white bandages on their forehead and gathering up in common areas of the hospitals. The doctors in other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Goa, has shown the unitedness with their counterpart in the West Bengal. 

The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, gave four hours to the junior doctors to end the protest or be ready to evict the hostels. She called the junior doctors as “outsiders”. Also, she said that this is a conspiracy by BJP and CPI. In reply to this irrational behaviour, the doctors protested with ‘shame-shame’ and ‘we want justice’ slogans. On being threatened by the Chief Minister, 108 doctors of NRS Medical College gave their resignation and the number of resignations has been growing up across India. The chief minister later took a softer approach by contacting senior doctors to call off the protest.

As a result, the doctors put up six conditions to stop the protest, one of them includes an apology from the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her remarks against doctors. 

On the other hand, counter-Protest has been seen in some areas of the state by the patients who needed immediate help but didn’t get on time. One such place is Medinipur, where the families of the patients burst out in the Medical College.  It is doubtless that the protest is a detriment to better treatment. If there is anybody who is at loss, then it is patients, and doctors as well. The growing agitation shows the inability of the government in dealing with the problem. Which has caused the Calcutta High Court to step in the matter and to direct the State government to negotiate an amicable solution in order to end the protest.

by :-

Adhiraj Joshi

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