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Four-hour ultimatum by Mamata Banerjee ends, doctors in West Bengal refuse to call off strike

Earlier on Thursday, Mamata had ordered the protesting junior doctors to resume work by 2:00 pm on Thursday or they would be evacuated from the hostel where they reside. 

Four-hour ultimatum by Mamata Banerjee ends, doctors in West Bengal refuse to call off strike
Image Courtesy: IANS
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KOLKATA: Three assistant professors, one professor and four Resident Medical doctors of government-run Sagar Dutta Medical College & Hospital on Thursday tendered their resignation after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the agitating doctors are not doctors but outsiders.

"Those who attacked doctors were outsiders. I have given instructions to police to take the strongest action, they have also arrested people," she said at SSKM Hospital, another hospital where doctors have been on strike. "Doctors cannot go on strike. They have to serve the patients. This will not be entertained."

Earlier on Thursday, Mamata had ordered the protesting junior doctors to resume work by 2:00 pm on Thursday or they would be evacuated from the hostel where they reside. "Join duty by 2 pm, or the hostel in which junior doctors reside would be evacuated," she had said. The warning given by Mamata did not cut much ice with the protesting doctors and they are still continuing their protest.

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The doctors also slammed the West Bengal chief minister for failing to meet the protesting doctors since the outrage over Monday's assault on a junior doctor and demanded that Mamata must meet the assaulted junior doctor personally and ensure their demands are fulfilled. It may be recalled that a junior doctor was assaulted at the NRS Hospital allegedly by family members of a deceased patient who blamed medical negligence for the death.

Meanwhile, the members of Joint Platform of Doctors, West Bengal, met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and demanded adequate security in every medical college and hospital. "We demand adequate security in every medical college & hospital,& proper action against those who attacked doctors in NRS Hospital on June 10. We will resume working as soon as our demands are fulfilled," members of Joint Platform of Doctors was quoted as saying by ANI.

It is to be noted that almost every government-run hospital in Kolkata has joined the protests and while Emergency wards are open, OPDs are shut. Doctors at AIIMS in Delhi also supported the protesting doctors by wearing helmets while treating their patients. Some doctors at AIIMS wore bandages on their forehead with fake blood as they went about their rounds.