West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked police to appoint nodal officers for security of doctors at all government hospitals in the state as she met the striking medicos on Monday in a bid to end the week-long impasse. In the meeting, which was held at the state secretariat, a doctors' delegation apprised Banerjee of the problems they have been facing at medical colleges and hospitals and said they fear for their safety.
Banerjee asked the police officers present in meeting to appoint nodal officers for hospitals in the state for security of doctors. West Bengal health secretary, MoS Chandrima Bhattacharya and other state officials were present in the meeting, besides 31 junior doctors.
The state government which had consented to protestors demand that meeting should be held in the presence of media, allowed only two regional news channels to cover the meeting. The CM told the striking doctors that no doctor has been booked by the state government.
The representatives of the joint forum of junior doctors also sought exemplary punishment for those involved in assault on doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital on June 11. Banerjee also directed formation of grievance redressal units in all state-run hospitals as proposed by the junior doctors. She said the state government has taken adequate measures and arrested five people involved in NRS incident.
Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave consent for live coverage of the proposed meeting with agitating junior doctors on Monday, paving way for a solution to the week-long impasse. The state government had earlier turned down the striking doctors' demand for live telecast of the meeting, scheduled to be held later in the day. "The chief minister has agreed to the demand for live coverage of the meeting," a state government official said. The meeting will be held at an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat in Howrah.
Junior doctors across the state are protesting against an assault on two of their colleagues, at the NRS Medical College and Hospital here, allegedly by the family members of a patient who died last week.
Here are the highlights from the meeting:
20.48 pm:Â Governor Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi welcomes the resolution of crisis caused by the State-wide strike of doctors consequent upon recent incidents of violence on the doctors at NRS Medical college and Hospitals.
20.33 pm: Mamta Banerjee visits injured doctor Pariboho Mukherjee
17.40 pm:Â West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's meeting with representatives of doctors at Nabanna ends.
4.56 pm:Â West Bengal Mamata Banerjee directs Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma to deploy a nodal police officer in every hospital, during the meeting with representatives of doctors at Nabanna.
4.42 pm:Â We are scared while working, want exemplary punishment for those who assaulted NRS doctors: Joint forum of junior doctors at meeting with CM Mamata Banerjee.
4.40 pm:Â We have taken adequate measures, arrested five people involved in NRS hospital incident: Mamata Banerjee.Â Â
4.35 pm:Â Only two people can enter from the patient side: Mamata Banerjee to Doctors.
4.30 pm: Collapsible gate will be placed in front of emergency department: Mamata Banerjee
4.19 pm: Doctors present 12 points demand to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
4.15 pm: We never wanted to start such movement but we were left with no option: Doctors to Mamata Banerjee
4.10 pm:Â Take strict action against the culprits, set an example: Doctors to MamataÂ
4.05 pm: Doctors ask Mamata Banerjee to visit the injured doctor once.Â
4.00 pm: Mamata Banerjee meets doctors, West Bengal Commissioner and DGP also present in the meeting along with Health Secretary.
West Bengal: CM Mamata Banerjee arrives for meeting with representatives of doctors at Nabanna. pic.twitter.com/ebcD15p026â€” ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
Here are 10 latest updates from this crucial story:
1: The strike will mean that non-essential services such as OPDs and diagnostic check-ups will be affected. There are no reports on doctors at private hospitals participating in the strike. The IMAâ€™s decision to go on the strike today came after the Union Health Minister asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.
2: Today, the West Bengal government wrote to the junior doctors asking them to reach Nabanna to meet Mamata Banerjee. Earlier, the doctors had rejected the invite as they insisted on media presence during meet.Â Â
3: The IMA has been demanding a central law to protect doctors and other medical staff within hospital premises across India.
4: In a previous statement, the IMA had said that, â€œThe gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata is of barbaric nature. Dr Paribaha Mukharjee who was brutally attacked is critical and fighting for his life. IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young doctor. Entire medical fraternity expresses our solidarity with the Residents who are on strike. Our National President, Dr Santanu Sen has visited all the medical colleges in Kolkata and has been in touch with the government and the police which has led to the arrest of four culprits in this regard. National President Elect Dr Rajan Sharma and Honorary Secretary General Dr RV Asokan are travelling to Kolkata to identify with the Residents. IMA Headquarters hereby declares All India Protest Day on Friday 14.06.2019.â€
5: The strike is seen as a fallout of the ongoing tension in Bengal where the junior doctors are protesting against Mamata Banerjee government.
6: While there has been no tangible movement in the stalemate, both sides appeared to have softened their stance.
7: The junior doctors have now said that they will meet the Bengal Chief Minister provided the interaction is held in-camera. The Mamata government has ruled out any media presence and asked for a closed-door meet.
8: Sources, however, told News Nation that the Trinamool Congress chief had asked the doctors to meet her at Nabanna (State Secretariat) at 3 pm on Monday. Sources added that Banerjee rejected the doctors demand of media's presence covering the meeting. To end the impasse, two medical representatives from 14 colleges will meet the CM today. Chief secretary, additional and principal secretary health and the director of Medical Education will be present at the meeting.
9: Services continued to remain affected for the sixth day on Sunday in the emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals and private medical facilities in the state, leaving several patients in the lurch.
10: Junior doctors across the state are observing a strike in protest against an assault on two of their colleagues at the NRS, allegedly by the family members of a patient who died on Monday night last week.