Despite Mamata Banerjee’s assurances; stalemate on doctors' strike continues on fifth day 

Written By: Pooja Mehta WION
Kolkata, West Bengal, India Published: Jun 15, 2019, 10:08 PM(IST)

File photo: Mamata Banerjee. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

The chief minister launched a blistering attack on the junior doctors for not coming forward to end the ongoing impasse.

Despite the assurances by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to provide security to junior doctors on hospital campuses, the doctors have refused to end the stalemate situation in the state on Saturday evening.

Banerjee, while addressing the media, said that the demand of junior doctors of getting security on campus has been fulfilled. “We have met all of their demands. If they have any more demands which are practical, those will also be fulfilled,” she said.

The chief minister launched a blistering attack on the junior doctors for not coming forward to end the ongoing impasse.

“Immediate action was taken. I sent my ministers, secretaries and Kolkata Police Commissioner the next day to resolve the issue. I waited for five hours yesterday, they did not turn up. Even today I waited but again they did not turn up. In fact, when I went to SSKM hospital, they pushed me and even hurled abuses at me. But I told the police to not take any action against them as they are young and they make mistakes,” she said.

On the other hand, Banerjee alleged that she did not invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) unlike other states, some ruled by the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). “So many states have invoked the ESMA. I can, but won’t. I do not want young aspiring doctor’s careers be marred by police cases. So I’m being patient with them and willing to allow some time,” she said.

On junior doctors' demand of whether she will visit the NRS hospital or not, she said it is completely her decision to decide whether she will visit NRS or not, on the other hand, on being asked whether she is going to tender an unconditional apology, she alleged that the press should apologise on her behalf.

The junior doctors of NRS hospital were yet to decide whether they were going to end the ongoing impasse. Representatives from several medical colleges and hospitals across the state were attending the general body meeting at NRS hospital till the last reports came in.

Junior doctors continued their ceasework across all hospitals in the state on Saturday on the fifth day of agitation.

On Monday, a clash broke out at NRS Medical College and Hospital after an elderly patient died on Monday night. Relatives of the deceased patient claimed medical negligence and beat up two junior doctors. One of the junior doctor, Paribaha Mukhpadhyay, suffered serious injuries on his skull and is presently undergoing treatment at a city hospital. Since Monday night, junior doctors are on a strike, demanding safety from the government and the police.

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