Kolkata: Following the ongoing strike by junior doctors in West Bengal entering the fifth day on Saturday, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced that the state government accepts all their demands and asked them to resume work at the earliest.
Addressing the media at Kolkata, CM Banerjee said, “We accept all their demands. I had sent my ministers, principal secretary to meet the doctors. They waited for five hours both yesterday and today. However, the doctors did not turn up. You have to give respect to the constitutional body.”
The chief minister also reiterated that the Bengal government did not want to raise the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the agitating junior doctors. “We did not arrest a single person. We will not take any police action. Health services cannot continue like this. I am not going to take any stringent action. Let good sense prevail,” Banerjee added.
It is to be noted that Junior doctors across West Bengal are on a strike since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were brutally attacked and beaten by the relatives of an old aged patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
The agitation had spread beyond Bengal across 17 states and Union Territories during the week. Resident doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi had also boycotted work on Friday to express solidarity with their colleagues in Bengal. Support for the agitating doctors had poured in from the medical fraternity across the country.
Over the past two days, as many as 640 doctors in Bengal — professors, associate professors, assistant professors and medical officers – have written to the authorities saying that they would like to resign from the services.
Earlier on Thursday, CM Banerjee alleged about the presence of ‘outsiders’ who are triggering angry reactions from the protesting doctors.
In Assam, members of PGT Union, JDA and Students Union along with support from all the faculties and staff of Silchar Medical College Hospital (SMCH) stand in protest against the heinous attack and brutalization upon Doctors at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College in West Bengal on Thursday.
The medical students in a press statement mentioned that they are appalled at the insensitivity by the West Bengal Government on the plight of doctors.
The medical students demanding justice had appealed before both the Central Government and State Government to look into the matter.
“We Doctors are tired and fed up of being beaten, bruised and brutalized at our place of work. We will not stand for this type of treatment anymore. Attack on doctors has become happenstance and this has to stop,” said one of the medical students during staging protest today in Silchar.
Similarly, Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) also staged a protest in Guwahati today demanding justice.
Furthermore, Calcutta High Court also refused to pass an interim order on the ongoing strike and sought details of the steps taken by the Bengal government over the alleged attacks on doctors.