West Bengal Doctors Call Off Strike After Meeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
Doctors in West Bengal called off their week-long strike on Monday night after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured them of steps to scale up security at government hospitals in the state.
A spokesperson of the joint forum of doctors told reporters here that the doctors will return to work as they want to give the state government some time to implement the promises.
"Our meeting and discussion with the CM met a logical end. We temporarily withdraw from our ceasework. Considering everything we expect the government to solve the issues as discussed in due time," he said after a meeting of the governing body of the forum at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and hospital.
The breakthrough came after Banerjee held a meeting with representatives of the striking doctors at the state secretariat. During the meeting, Banerjee announced a number of steps, including asking police to appoint nodal officers for security of doctors at all government hospital in the state, following which the doctors agreed to end the stir.
The junior doctors of Bengal had gone on strike on Tuesday protesting assault of their two colleagues by relatives and well wishers of a patient who died in NRS hospital on Monday last. The doctors' delegation apprised Banerjee of the problems they have been facing at medical colleges and hospitals and said they fear for their safety. West Bengal health secretary, Minister of State Chandrima Bhattacharya and other state officials were present in the meeting, besides 31 junior doctors.
The end of the strike came as a big relief to hundreds of patients as health services were paralysed across the state for a week. "We have decided in our governing body meeting that we will be returning to work as soon as possible," the spokesperson for doctors' forum said.
"We want to thank the chief minister for giving us some time. We want to give the state government some time to implement the promises they made to us. We also thank the common people.... We also seek forgiveness from them who have suffered the most," he said.
The junior doctors also thanked the chief minister for visiting injured doctor Paribaha Mukhopadhyay at the hospital where he was undergoing treatment. "We are happy for that. She had promised us and went to see Paribaha at the hospital," the spokesperson said.