The doctor’s strike in West Bengal against the brutal attack on doctors by a mob appears to be snowballing into a national level movement following Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s apathy towards the protesting doctors. After the doctors in West Bengal defied Mamata Banerjee’s ultimatum to end the strike within 4 hours yesterday, the West Bengal doctors have received support from doctors across the country. The latest to come out in support of the West Bengal are the doctors of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi.
Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital announced silent protests to be held tomorrow in solidarity with the doctors in West Bengal. The RDA in a letter addressed to the Additional Director Medical condemned the attack on the doctors at the NRS Medical Hospital in West Bengal on 10th June and termed the incident as a heinous act against the entire medical fraternity.
Showing utter insensitivity towards the protesting doctors, Mamata Banerjee had warned them yesterday to end their strike or face action. This had the impact of adding fuel to the fire. Sixteen doctors of R G Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata resigned today demanding an apology from Banerjee for her remarks. Yesterday, the Principal and the Vice-Principal of the NRS Medical College and Hospital had tendered their resignations.
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan also appealed to Mamata Banerjee not to make this an issue of prestige while assuring the doctors that the Central government was committed to their safety. Banerjee’s own nephew Abesh Banerjee, who is a doctor at KPC Medical College and Hospital, also led a protest in solidarity with the agitating doctors.
Instead of listening to and addressing the aggrieved doctors’ demands as is expected of a responsible administrator, Mamata Banerjee called the agitating doctors ‘outsiders’ and blamed the BJP and the CPI of politicising the issue.