Assault on doctors in Bengal: Harsh Vardhan issues ‘kadi ninda’

Expressing concern over the incidents of violence against doctors, Dr Harsh Vardhan said it was necessary for medical practitioners to get a safe work environment

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New Delhi: Condemning the violence against doctors in Kolkata, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday urged patients and their attendants to exercise restraint and said he will take up the matter of doctors’ security with chief ministers of all states and Union Territories.

Dr Harsh Vardhan asked the doctors to ensure that essential services to the people are not disrupted, an official statement said.

Expressing concern over the incidents of violence against doctors, Dr Harsh Vardhan said it was necessary for medical practitioners to get a safe work environment.

The minister stated that he shall take this matter up with the chief ministers of all states and UTs so that such incidents can be avoided in the future.

“Doctors are an integral pillar of society and often work under stressful and difficult conditions. I urge the patients and their caregivers to observe restraint,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on a strike since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured at the NRS medical college and hospital in Kolkata.

On Thursday, they defied Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ultimatum to join work by 2 PM and said the agitation will continue till their demands related to security in government hospitals are met.

The Indian Medical Association () on Wednesday directed the members of all its state branches to stage protests and wear black badges on Friday.

In a communique to all its state presidents and secretaries, the IMA has asked them to organise demonstrations in front of district collectors’ offices from 10 am to 12 noon on Friday and hand over a memorandum addressed to the prime minister to the collectors.

Meanwhile, several resident doctors at the AIIMS here worked with bandages on their heads as a symbolic protest and have decided to boycott work on Friday to express solidarity with the agitating doctors in West .

Condemning the violence in West Bengal, the AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) has also urged the RDAs across the country to join the token strike.

All the local branches and individual members of the IMA will send an appeal to the prime minister and the Union home minister, demanding a central Act on violence against doctors and hospitals.

The IMA has also urged its state branches to communicate the information to the government doctors’ organisations of the states, request for their support and issue a press statement to this effect.

“The gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata, is of barbaric nature. IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young . The entire medical fraternity expresses solidarity with the resident doctors who are on strike. The IMA headquarters hereby declares All India Protest Day on Friday,” the IMA had said in a statement.