'Don’t Pay Tribute, Just Ensure Our Safety': Bengal Doctors to Mamata Over State Holiday on July 1

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Monday declared July 1 as state holiday to pay gratitude to doctors, nurses and other frontline warriors.

Sujit Nath
  • News18
  • Last Updated: July 1, 2020, 11:35 AM IST
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Kolkata: Two days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that ‘National Doctors Day’ on July 1 will be a state holiday, the West Bengal Doctors’ Forum (WBDF) rejected the decision saying the state government should focus on the safety and security of healthcare workers than announcing a holiday in their honour.

Speaking to News18, WBDF’s Secretary, Dr Koushik Chaki, said, “The state government has declared July 1 as a state holiday to honour the doctors and frontline COVID-19 warriors. However, in the middle of the pandemic, we reject such a rhetoric.”

“If the state government really wants to pay tribute to the doctors, they must ensure the safety and security of every healthcare professional as that has been our long standing demand. Doctors will be in the battlefield on that day, like any other day in the effort to save lives. We have suggested to the state government that if they really want to pay tribute, they should do so by ensuring ongoing teaching and training in tertiary care medical colleges where both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 people can be treated, if properly planned,” he added.

Chaki also wants Banerjee to meet the doctors’ body with an open mind “to make sure all forms of social ostracisation are stopped and to ensure safety, well-being and livelihood of the doctors.”

Earlier, the WBDF had raised concerns over the working conditions of the healthcare workers during the pandemic. “Over the last few weeks, more and more healthcare workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, some of them even asymptomatic, while several others are in quarantine. We urge upon the health and administrative authorities to proactively look into the matter as it is a matter of grave concern. With limited resources at disposal, we cannot afford to have a situation where the shortage of healthcare providers poses a threat to delivery of care,” a statement issued by the Forum reads.

On June 29, Bengal Chief Minister had announced that ‘National Doctors Day’ on July 1, will be a State holiday.

“As a mark of respect to the exemplary services rendered by the doctors and paramedical staff in fighting COVID-19, we have decided to observe doctors day as a state holiday,” the chief minister had said.

‘National Doctors Day’ is observed on July 1 in memory of legendary physician and former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was born on July 1, 1882 and died on July 1, 1962.

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