Written by Jaspreet Singh
AROUND 800 resident doctors at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here held a demonstration to express solidarity with their protesting counterparts in Kolkata.
The functioning of the OPDs was partially hit due to the protest.
However, Dr Uttam Kumar Thakur, president of the Association of Resident Doctors at the PGIMER, said all emergency services functioned normally and the on-duty doctors did not join the protest.
The protest lasted five hours from 8 am to 1 pm and the doctors returned work after it, he said.
Doctors in West Bengal have been protesting since Tuesday against an attack on two of their colleagues by a mob following the death of a patient at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
The protesting doctors are demanding an apology from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee after she issued an ultimatum to resume work and implementation of laws for the protection of doctors. Dr Thakur said, “We doctors are always at the receiving end. We are protesting to show our solidarity with the doctors assaulted in Kolkata and we want an immediate apology from the Mamata Banerjee government. Doctor fraternity is being demonised. As we don’t account for a considerable vote bank, our demands are seldom fulfilled and considered. It has to be kept in mind that we are doctors, not God. We can’t give immortality to anyone.”
“We have a very simple demand. We want justice for our colleague. It is a peaceful march at PGIMER and it is also a show of strength. The assault on the doctor at NRS is highly condemned by everyone at PGI. We are not getting good work conditions because we overwork. We want an apology and stringent laws against anyone who assaults doctors,” said Dr Ashish Bansal of Department of Psychiatry.
However, patients suffered. A patient called Chajju Singh came from Jind. His nephew Raj Singh said, “We didn’t know there was some protest going on in PGIMER. Due to the protest, we could not register the patient because the registration was up to 9 am today. We are in trouble because we have spent a lot of money. We came in a taxi by paying Rs 3,000.”
Gurdeep Singh, who came from Karnal, said, “We have come from Karnal and I have a small child of one month. His eye was operated upon in the hospital. We have come for the check-up of our child. There are not many doctors present at the Advanced Eye Centre. Some doctors told us to come tomorrow.”