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Mamata Banerjee agrees to demand for live telecast, meeting with doctors to be held

The doctors had again refused to meet Mamata Banerjee after the West Bengal Chief Minister called two representatives from each Medical College of the state for discussion on Monday.

Mamata Banerjee agrees to demand for live telecast, meeting with doctors to be held

KOLKATA: As striking doctors remained firm on their demand for live telecast of meeting with Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal Chief Minister has been forced to accept their conditions. The doctors of the NRS Medical College and Hospital will be meeting Mamata on Monday. They had again refused to meet her after the West Bengal Chief Minister called two representatives from each Medical College of the state for discussion on Monday. The doctors said that the meeting will only be held in the presence of media and cameras.

The decision was taken in a general body meeting which was held to decide if they should accept the CM's invitation to meet two representatives from each Medical College of West Bengal at 3 pm on Monday. 

Director Medical Education had in a letter to the protesting doctors of the NRS Medical College and Hospital said that the Chief Minister has agreed to meet 2 representatives from each Medical College of the State at Nabanna at 3 pm on 17 June 2019. "The discussion will focus on all your demands. I also confirm that the discussion and resolutions taken in this meeting shall be recorded and duly communicated to you. I request you to kindly come over for this meeting and reach Nabanna by 2.30 p.m. on 17 June 2019," the letter stated. 

As many as two medical representatives from 14 colleges (28 persons) had been asked to attend the meeting to end the impasse. Chief secretary, additional and principal secretary health and Director, Medical Education will also be present for the meeting. 

The junior doctors in West Bengal had earlier in the day reiterated their demand to hold an open door meeting with the Chief Minister in the presence of "live media". They had claimed that they have not received any official invitation from the state government regarding any meeting.

"We are sad that the patients are suffering due to this ongoing impasse and want this dispute to be resolved immediately. We do not want a closed door meeting with the CM. We want the conversion to be held in the presence of live media and sufficient representatives from all medical colleges," a representative of the protesting doctors of the NRS Medical College and Hospital said on the seventh day of the strike. 

The doctors have been demanding media presence in the meeting to maintain transparency claiming that they have been the " biggest sufferers" in this strike. The doctors, with representatives of various medical colleges, held a general body meeting on Sunday and said they are willing to meet the CM for talks at a venue of her choosing but insisted the meeting should not be held behind closed doors. 

The doctors have been protesting against the brutal attack on two junior doctors by the family members of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital on June 10 night. Doctors across the state have stopped work at the outpatient departments (OPDs) in most government hospitals in the state since June 12.

Heathcare facilities across other states have also been hampered on Monday with doctors calling for strikes in support of their colleagues in West Bengal.