Doctors seek strict punishment for attackers as CM Mamata pledges new security measures

When asked by Banerjee if there was any police officer present when their colleague was assaulted at NRS Hospital, the doctors replied in the negative.

Published: 17th June 2019 05:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2019 05:33 PM   |  A+A-

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, speaks to representatives of striking doctors at Nabanna, the state Secretariat on 17 June 2019. (Photo | ANI Twitter)

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, speaks to representatives of striking doctors at Nabanna, the state Secretariat on 17 June 2019. (Photo | ANI Twitter)

By Online Desk

The representatives of the striking doctors who met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna, the state Secretariat, claimed that following the death of a patient at state-run NRS Hospital, the epicentre of their week-long protests, a gang of 20 people had threatened the doctors.

They also told the CM that a gang later gathered outside the residences of the doctors from Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, and threatened and abused them further.

When asked by Banerjee if there was no police official present, the doctors replied in the negative and said that the police did not take any action.

The representatives demanded that punishment against the attackers should be such that a message is sent out to all. They said that they were working in an atmosphere of fear and that they wanted to resume work as soon as possible. They also sought a strong legal policy for assault against the medical fraternity.

The Chief Minister asked the doctors to make a plan, incorporating the measures they want to be taken to step up security across all government hospitals. In case of emergencies, only two relatives can accompany the patient, she suggested.

Mamata also accepted the proposal of doctors to set up a Grievance Redressal Cell in all government hospitals. They asked for the grievance addressal forms to be made out in regional languages for the benefit of patients who come from other states. The forms would be displayed in a spot visible to the public, Mamata promised.

Among other suggestions, the Chief Minister also said one nodal officer must be appointed to supervise the security situation at the hospital, as well the setting up of a Public Relations team for state hospitals to communicate with the patients. 

At the meeting, the CM also spoke of a shortage of doctors at the state's government hospitals, despite inviting doctors from other states.

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.

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.

Backtracking on her earlier promise of live-streaming, only ABP Ananda was allowed to cover the closed-door meeting.

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