KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met representatives of the striking junior doctors at Nabanna, the state Secretariat. Backtracking on her earlier promise of live-streaming, only ABP Ananda was allowed to cover the closed-door meeting.
West Bengal commissioner and DGP was also present at the meeting, along with the health secretary.
She had agreed to meet two representatives from each medical college at Nabanna. "The discussion will focus on all your demands. I also confirm that discussion and resolutions taken in this meeting shall be recorded, and duly communicated to you," a letter from the state government said.
West Bengal: State Health Department bus carrying representatives of doctors scheduled to meet CM Mamata Banerjee in Nabanna, today. pic.twitter.com/vNosuVOfKa— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
On Sunday, in an attempt to defuse the strike, Mamata Banerjee sought to meet their demands halfway, accepting the proposal to hold talks at an open venue on Monday, but conveyed her unease over media presence. Earlier, the doctors said they were ready for an open dialogue with Mamata at a venue of her choice.
Meanwhile, following a call from the Indian Medical Association, doctors across the country are on strike on Monday, with only emergency and casualty services running.
The IMA had said that all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had on Saturday asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.
The IMA has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff.
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 10 June.
(With inputs from Express News Service and IANS)