Delhi Doctors On Token Strike, Demand Security

New Delhi :  In solidarity with the striking doctors of West Bengal, doctors of several hospitals of Delhi, including the AIIMS, went on a token strike affecting health services in the capital.

The striking doctors demanded immediate security intervention of the Centre and adoption of an uniform security code for all government hospitals across the country. 

Talking to IANS, AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA) President Vijay Gurjar said: “We are in solidarity with the doctors of West Bengal. We demand central security and law for resident doctors. In this regard we met Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and submitted a memorandum”.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) RDA vice president Jawahar Singh said the Health Minister has assured the striking doctors that he would personally talk to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

Besides, he would also be speaking to the Chief Ministers of all the states on the security of doctors, the Union Minister added. 

The strike by senior and junior resident doctors has badly affected the health services in the hospital.

Gurjar also said that the AIIMS faculty members were working with helmets donned.

They also demanded recruitment of both armed and unarmed trained security guards in all government hospitals, besides increasing the number of security staff to at least thrice the existing numbers.

Meanwhile, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML), Lady Hardinge Medical College and other Delhi government hospitals, including those run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would be observing a token strike on Saturday.

The RML Resident Doctors Association President Sumedha said: “We have intimated the Union Health Minister about our strike for tomorrow (Saturday)”.

He said emergency services would not be affected during the strike, critical care services would be open and doctors would be attending, but Out Patient (OPD) services would remain shut.

He said the demand of the doctors include deployment of Central paramilitary forces for the protection of doctors, legislating a Central Doctor Protection Act and that doctors across hospitals in country be provided with separate security.

According to a Sir Ganga Ram Hospital statement: “All doctors of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital are fully in support of our colleagues in West Bengal and strongly protest against the growing tendency of violence against doctors. As a support of our solidarity, all private OPD clinics at the hospital will remain closed today (Friday)”. 

Several resident doctors also held a protest at Jantar Mantar against the brutal attack on a Kolkata intern, following the death of a 75-year-old late on Monday.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also asked members of all its state branches to stage protests and wear black badges on Friday.