Junior doctors have rejected Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s offer to hold talks and resolve a doctors’ stir that has spread from Bengal to other parts. The doctors called the talks offer “a ploy to break the agitation”.
Nearly 300 doctors resigned from Bengal government hospitals on Friday amid protests after junior doctors at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital where attacked earlier this week for alleged negligence.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday urged the doctors across the country “to end the strike” and appealed to Mamata to “not make this a prestige issue”.
On the fifth day of the protests, the doctors have set six conditions, including an unconditional apology from Mamata for her remarks against the agitation and action against those who assaulted their colleague.
The Chief Minister had on Thursday said the protesting doctors at SSKM “abused” her when she visited the hospital. “They can oppose me, they can hurl abuses at me. I don’t mind because they are young. I only want them to resume work,” she said. She had also blamed “outsiders”, the CPM and the BJP for the agitation.
A delegation of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) met Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday. The doctors’ body has launched a four-day nationwide protest on Friday and called a strike on Monday.
In Delhi, doctors at 15 hospitals have joined the protest.
Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Friday night said he had called up the chief minister to discuss the issue but there was “no response” from her.