Patients suffer as Bengal doctors strike enters 6th day

Kolkata: Health services in West Bengal remained partially disrupted and state-run hospitals wore a deserted look on Sunday morning as the doctors strike entered its sixth day.

Sunday being a holiday, the out-patient departments remained closed and the number of patients waiting outside hospitals or visiting the emergency wards was also low. The emergency services, however, functioned normally.

The striking doctors across hospitals were looking forward to a General Body meeting to be held at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, the epicentre of the protests.

The meeting, which will decide the next course of action, will also be attended by representatives of other hospitals participating in the strike.

According to informed sources, the protesting doctors are probably looking for a scope of discussion to end the stalemate.

On Friday night, the striking doctors rejected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal for talks at the state Secretariat, instead asking her to come down to NRS Hospital.

West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi wrote to Banerjee advising her to take immediate steps to provide security to the doctors and asking her to take them into confidence. She responded saying that the government was taking required action.

“The protest is not just about CCTV, armed security and iron gates. As a doctor, I know the difficulties faced by doctors due to lack of infrastructure at these hospitals,” said Sayantan Bandopadhyay.

Bandopadhyay is relative of doctor Paribaha Mukherjee, who was attacked up by the kin of a 75-year-old patient who died, allegedly of medical negligence, at NRS Hospital late on Monday night.

The attack triggered off the strike by the doctors that has since brought medical services in the state to a standstill.

“I appeal the doctors to resume their work as I don’t want innocent patients to die,” said Mohammed Shabir, a relative of the deceased patient.