Doctors call-off strike in West Bengal after on-cam meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

The protesting doctors in West Bengal on Monday agreed to withdraw their week-long stir after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced steps to scale up security at hospitals. An assurance to call off the strike came at an on-cameta meeting Ms Banerjee held with representatives of the striking doctors at the state secretariat.

The protests here began on June 11, a day after junior doctors at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital (NRS) in Kolkata was allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a deceased patient following allegations of medical negligence. One of the doctors received serious skull injuries. The agitation spread from NRS to all medical colleges of the State. It snowballed into a major pan-India movement with the medical fraternity, like Indian Medical Association (IMA) and doctors at AIIMS, supporting it.

The IMA’s one-day strike call on Monday brought OPD services to a halt in all government and private hospitals in the country. Resident doctors at AIIMS had also threatened to go an indefinite cease work if demands of agitating doctors of Bengal were not met.

“We are calling off the cease-work and will resume work soon. We are thankful to the medical fraternity and the common people for extending their support to us,” a statement by the agitating doctors, issued late in the evening, said.

“The CM is in agreement that doctors cannot be assaulted at any cost,” a spokesperson of the doctors added.