The striking resident doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday demanded a tough central law against anyone who engages in violence with medical practitioners.
"We want a tough central law which sends shivers down the spine of anyone who even thinks of attacking a doctor," said Dr Rajeev Ranjan, general secretary, Resident Doctors Association (RDA), AIIMS.
The resident doctors of AIIMS - a Central government-run health facility for tertiary care - are on 18-hour long strike against the assault on doctors. Their strike will end at 6 am on Tuesday.
"We have faith in Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who himself is a doctor. He will ensure that central legislation is framed to ensure the safety and security of doctors," he said.
He said that the Union Health Minister should take cognizance of tough laws in other countries. "We also want the implementation of the law once is framed," said Dr Ranjan, while talking to the reporters.
Dr Ranjan also asked the public why they are not raising their voice against the autocratic behaviour of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"Our question to the entire country including lawmakers, patients, and the general public - Why are you not raising your voice against Chief Minister Banerjee, who is threatening doctors in the state," he asked.
AIIMS doctors, who had earlier said that they would not be participating in the strike, said that they would withdraw their elective services from 12 noon on Monday till 6 am on Tuesday, a statement issued by the RDA of AIIMS said.
Emergency services including casualty, intensive care unit (ICU) and labour room services have been spared from the strike.
The decision by AIIMS doctors to strike their work was taken amid allegations that a junior resident doctor at the Emergency Department of Jai Prakash Narain Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) was abused by the relatives of a patient at around 1:30 am on Sunday.
Indian Medical Association (IMA), the country's largest medical body, is holding a nationwide strike today against the alleged attacks on doctors in West Bengal.
IMA has also urged for the enactment of a protection law for the doctors and amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). It also wants security measures to be specified.
The doctors' strike in West Bengal has entered its seventh day today and has spread to other parts of the country too. The doctors at AIIMS also took out a protest on the campus this morning.
Doctors at Jaipuria Hospital in Jaipur are also on strike today. Doctors at Sir Sayajirao General Hospital in Vadodara held a protest outside the Out Patient Department (OPD) today. Doctors at IGIMS, Patna, Victoria Hospital, Bangalore, Guwahati Medical College Hospital, Ludhiana Civil Hospital, PGIMER, Chandigarh, and RIMS, Ranchi also held protest, seeking protection for their lives.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court would hear on Tuesday a PIL filed by Alok Shrivastav, seeking provisions for security and protection of the doctors. Srivastava has further sought strictest action against those who allegedly assaulted a junior doctor at NRS Hospital, Kolkata. (ANI)