Doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday announced that they go on a strike in solidarity with doctors across the country who are boycotting work in protest against violence against them in West Bengal.
AIIMS doctors who had earlier said they would not be participating in the strike, said they will withdraw elective services from 12 noon today till 6 am on Tuesday, a statement issued by the Resident Doctor's Association (RDA) of AIIMS said today.
Emergency services including Casualty, ICU and Labour room services will however not be affected.
The decision by AIIMS doctors was taken in an emergency meeting early today and comes amid allegations that a junior resident doctor at the Emergency Department of Jai Prakash Narain Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) at AIIMS, Delhi was abused by the relatives of a patient at around 1:30 am on Sunday for "performing his rightful duty of giving preferential care to a critical patient."
"We remain dedicated to the primary reason of serving humanity to our fullest potential. The incident at Emergency Department, Trauma Centre, AIIMS where a junior resident was assaulted for performing his rightful duty of giving preferential care to a critical patient, was efficiently managed with the support of AIIMS administration in letter and spirit," the RDA said.
"But this event made us rethink about the warfront like conditions faced by our fellow medicos elsewhere, where they are usually left alone to fight for their lives while saving those of the sick and even where the basic security measures like CCTV surveillance and special security deployment at Emergency and ICU's are nonexistent," the RDA statement added.
Th association said it has decided to continue active association with the "movement to ensure safety and security of doctors is essential for it to materialize into legal concrete results of bringing a 'Central Act for Violence against Doctors' by the Government of India, which includes invoking stringent penal actions against the culprits."
The association has further urged the West Bengal administration to fulfill the demands of striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest. Protesting junior doctors in West Bengal sought an "immediate end to this impasse" and agreed for talks with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
On Saturday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accepted the protesting doctors' demands and promised to not invoke the stringent Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them for not performing their duties and urged them to resume work immediately.
Indian Medical Association (IMA), country's largest medical body is holding a nationwide strike today against the alleged attacks on doctors in West Bengal. It has urged for the formulation of a comprehensive law for the enactment of protection law for the doctors and amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). It also wants security measures to be specified.
The doctors' strike in West Bengal has entered its seventh day today and has spread to other parts of the country too.
The doctors at AIIMS also took out a protest on the campus this morning.
Meanwhile, doctors at Jaipuria Hospital in Jaipur are also on strike today. Doctors at Sir Sayajirao General Hospital in Vadodara hold protest outside Out Patient Department today.