Kolkata doctors protest spreads to Delhi & Mumbai

The move could paralyse hundreds of government-run health facilities across India. — AFP  File

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) launched a three-day nationwide protest from Friday to express solidarity with the doctors and called for a strike on 17 June with withdrawal of non-essential health services.

The Residents' Doctor Association, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar said in a press release, that it was disheartened and saddened at the grievous crime against the medical fraternity of West Bengal.

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"The government must pass a law to make any attack on doctors a non-bailable offence with minimum 12 years of jail", Vardhan, who is himself a doctor, said on Twitter.

The protests have erupted across the nation, with AIIMS resident doctors handing an ultimatum to the West Bengal CM. Sen slammed the state government for not providing adequate security to the doctors but spending money to organise festivals across the state. The court also directed the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government to apprise it of the steps taken following the attack on the junior doctors at a city hospital on Monday night.

Also, almost 100 doctors of the NRS Medical College and Hospital - the epicentre of the protests are also opting for resignation, an official revealed. She has warned strict action if the doctors do not resume work. Doctors who don't return to work must leave the hostel, she said.

"It was a unanimous decision to tender our resignation following our chief minister's indifferent attitude towards law and order situation in healthcare services".

Doctors in several other places across the country have been protesting to show solidarity with their counterparts in West Bengal, who had stopped work on Tuesday.

In Raipur, around 400 junior doctors of Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital staged a protest from 8 am to 2 pm in premises of the medical facility. "They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way", she said.

On Friday, as many as 119 doctors of North Bengal Medical College & Hospital in Darjeeling resigned over violence against doctors in the state. Vardhan has assured the doctors that he will look into their demands.

Defying warnings of punitive action by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the stir by junior doctors in West Bengal continued for the fourth consecutive day on Friday with hundreds of doctors in state-run hospitals writing to the authorities saying they would "like to resign" from their services.

As part of the protest, the doctors stayed away from attending out-patient departments (OPDs) and operation theaters (OTs), Bhagwati Chandra Verma, president, Junior Doctors Association (JUDA) said. "Emergency services will not be hampered", the state doctors' body said in a statement.

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