KOLKATA: The stalemate between striking doctors and the West Bengal government continued. While the doctors rejected her offer to hold talks at the state secretariat, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed the state had accepted all the demands of the doctors and was ready to accept more and had refrained from invoking ESMA.
“We have the laws, but we do not want to use them.... We are not going to take any stringent action against any of the agitating junior doctors and hamper their career,” she said at a news conference after the agitating doctors did not send any representative to meet her.
Banerjee cited instances of steps taken against doctors in a similar situation by other states, adding that the West Bengal government had not taken any tough action against them.“Actions have been taken after the assault on the junior doctors. There are several examples in which other state governments invoked ESMA after doctors called strikes there. I have not taken any action or cancelled anyone’s registration yet for creating the crisis in the healthcare services.
All of their demands, including installing CCTV cameras and deploying adequate police personnel at hospitals, have been accepted. I am always ready to hold dialogues. When the government is willing to talk, you should not refuse,’’ she said.“I waited for two days but they did not come. I appeal to the junior doctors, who are willing to join, to return to work,’’ said Mamata.
earlier, the junior doctors held a meeting at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, the epicentre of the agitation, and announced that they would stick to their demand. They demanded that the chief minister visit the hospital to hold dialogues with them.“We want an unconditional apology from the chief minister for the manner in which she had addressed us at the SSKM Hospital on Thursday. We want her to visit the hospital and talk to us,’’ said Arindam Dutta, spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors.
Vardhan asks states to frame law for docs
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Saturday asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence. Along with a letter to all CMs, he also attached a copy of the Draft Act provided by IMA and urged all states and UTs for strict action against any person who assaults doctors.