Office bearers of Indian Medical Association addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo/ANI
Office bearers of Indian Medical Association addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo/ANI

IMA calls for withdrawal of all non-emergency services on June 17

ANI | Updated: Jun 14, 2019 18:43 IST

New Delhi [India], June 14 (ANI): The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Friday called for a nationwide withdrawal of non-emergency services including OPD on June 17 to protest against the assault on a Junior Resident Doctor in Kolkata and sought a central law for ensuring protection to doctors against violence in hospitals.
"Since no resolution is coming across after all the solidarity shown by the medical fraternity, IMA calls for the withdrawal of all non-emergency services including OPDs on Monday, June 17 across the nation in all healthcare institutions and all the medical colleges," Dr R V Ashokan, Secretary General of IMA told a press conference here.
He said they have called the entire medical fraternity (even Private Hospitals) to join the protest on Monday.
"This is for resolution of the crisis in West Bengal, ensuring security in hospitals and for enacting a Central Law," he added.
This comes after resident doctors in West Bengal went on strike to protest against the assault on a Junior Doctor of NRS college on June 10 to which doctors across various states have lent support.
Demanding an "unconditional acceptance" of demands of all resident doctors, Ashokan said, "Directly and indirectly, violence against doctors will impact the patient care and patient safety. Ultimately the sufferer will be the patient. We demand a resolution on the West Bengal crisis and unconditional acceptance of all the demands of residents."
He also said that a Central Hospital Protection Act is a long-standing demand of the medical fraternity.
"19 states have Hospital Protection Act. But the implementation is very tardy because there has been no central act. An inter-ministerial committee in 2015 has given a recommendation for the Central act.," said Ashokan.
"Today, the entire medical colleges, all the IMA branches in every district, dharnas are being organised across the country and memorandum are being submitted to the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Health Minister," he said.
Asserting that the patience of the medical fraternity has thinned due to a flurry of such incidents, he said, "The issue is well known to you. It has been year after year, month after month. We have lost count of the incidents where doctors have been beaten up brutally."
Ashokan said that they were only demanding safety in hospitals which he said is not a difficult thing to be ensured by the state.
"I and President-elect of IMA went to Calcutta yesterday and amongst the students, fear and violence are raining. We were there in NRS medical college. Violence has been perpetrated in all the medical colleges, in the hostels, in the streets," he said.
"Even when we were there, a very strong mob of 300 people marched towards the college. Fortunately, the interns closed the gate and obstructed their entry. This phenomenon is condemned outright by us and we expect the society, the public opinion to be on our side," said Ashokan.
The President-Elect of the IMA, Rajan Sharma too condemned the assault on resident doctors.
"The way a junior doctor was attacked brutally for an incident with which he had no connection. We went to Calcutta yesterday and found that the junior resident doctor was going to have his meals and he was attacked," Sharma said.
"Five accused have been arrested. When we met those doctors, they were not saying he is our leader or he is our leader. They were saying - Sir, what should we do, we are not safe," he added.
The IMA president-elect said that such incidents were affecting the working of doctors and their decision making capability.
"All across India, this thing is happening again and again and that is affecting us a lot. It is affecting our working, our decision making capability," he said.
"If you are not satisfied with us, our services, then you can complaint against us but do not attack. We want to request the Central government to bring this Central Act as soon as possible. The implementation of Act may take some time but the announcement should not," he added.
Addressing the gathering Dr V K Moga said, "Every doctor is distressed over the recent incidents. It is the government's mistake that there is lesser number of doctors. We work for 18 hours a day but still get beaten up," he said.
"The big question is till when the doctors will keep getting beaten in their line of duty. The protest today was to show solidarity. It will continue and the main protest will be on Monday," Moga added.
Meanwhile, Delhi Medical Association also called for a 'total medical bandh on Friday to protest against the assault on the doctor of NRS Medical College, Kolkata.
When asked about the inconvenience that will be caused to the public, Rajan Sharma said, "I agree with you. But we are also not happy to come on the streets either. Nowhere in our education, we have taught to protest and go on strike. Please understand that this is such a burning issue that we as an association have given this call. (ANI)

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