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More Than 70 Doctors Across West Bengal Hand in Resignations as Strike Continues For Fourth Day

The mass resignation comes a day after principal Saibal Mukherjee and Vice-principal Sourav Chatterjee of NRS Medical College and Hospital, which has been in the center of the strikes, put in their papers.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:June 14, 2019, 1:51 PM IST
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More Than 70 Doctors Across West Bengal Hand in Resignations as Strike Continues For Fourth Day
Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration in Kolkata.

Kolkata: Amid the ongoing strike by the medical staff, more than 70 doctors across West Bengal resigned on Friday in protest against the state government’s handling of the situation.

69 of the doctors who handed in their resignations are from RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. Meanwhile, Six doctors – two from NRS and four from North Bengal Medical College and Hospital – also put in their papers.

“We are shocked to see the attitude of the state government. Our Chief Minister should have handled the situation sensibly. We all have resigned today in solidarity with our students,” said Dr Nirmal Kumar Bera, who resigned along with three other doctors of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

The mass resignation comes a day after principal Saibal Mukherjee and Vice-principal Sourav Chatterjee of NRS Medical College and Hospital, which has been in the center of the strikes, put in their papers.

Mukherjee and Chatterjee mailed their resignation letters to the Director of Medical Education Dr Pradip Mitra saying that they had failed to resolve the crisis at NRS Medical College and Hospital.

The Deputy Superintendent of NRS Medical College and Hospital, Dr (Maj) Dwaipayan Biswas said, “Their resignation letters haven’t been accepted yet and they are yet to be relieved from their duties. Till that time, they will come to the hospital to discharge their normal duties.”

Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Thursday had expressed his concern over the ongoing strike appealing to the doctors to resume their duties for the patients.

The Governor’s appeal came after representatives of Joint Platform of Doctors (West Bengal) and Doctors’ Association of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) met him on Thursday and appraised him about the current situation in light of the attack on junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital on June 10.

They submitted a memorandum to the Governor, in which they demanded that appropriate action be taken.

Apart from demanding adequate security and protection in the hospital, the representatives of doctors also pressed for a probe into the June 10 attacks.

The doctors further said that they will resume duties on the assurance that security will be given by the state government.

Meanwhile, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in a Facebook post had said, “I am grateful to senior doctors and professors who are offering full services to the people. My humble regards to them for their cooperation. Some misinformation/disinformation (is) being spread on social media by some political parties are completely untrue.”

She added, “Health service is always dedicated to the patients. I, therefore, appeal to all to restore normal healthcare services to the patients without any further delay.”

Despite these consistent requests from the CM and the Governor, junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital have refused to call off the strike and condemned Mamata for threatening them with a time-bound “ultimatum”.

“Instead of showing sympathy towards the junior doctors who often face public wrath, she threatened us to vacate hostels. Do you think that this will resolve the issues,” Humayun Kabir, one of the junior doctors, said.

Reactions from the junior doctors came after Mamata gave a four-hour ultimatum to junior doctors to withdraw their strike or face the consequences.

Mamata on Thursday visited SSKM College and Hospital instead of going to NRS Medical College and Hospital, which has been at the centre of the statewide protests after the June 10 incident in which junior doctors attacked over the death of a patient due to alleged negligence.

During her visit Mamata had said, “I condemn this. Those who are creating problem are not junior doctors. They are outsiders. I want police to take stern action and I give them 4 hours ultimatum to resume services. Those who want to protest will not be allowed to stay inside their hostels. If you want to talk, please come to me. I have a detailed inquiry in to the matter.”

On Friday, the protest by junior doctors entered its fourth-day causing severe problems for several patients across the state.

Meanwhile, Pariboho Mukherjee (24), who had sustained a skull fracture and was admitted to Institute of Neurosciences, is no longer in a critical state.

(With inputs from Sougata Mukhopadhyay)

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