ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Striking Out

Doctors need to go beyond demanding security to address violence against healthcare workers.


The attack on two doctors by a deceased patient’s relatives in a Kolkata hospital and subsequent events snowballed into a nationwide strike by doctors last week. The stir started off with the junior doctors in Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital going on strike demanding increased security in hospitals. The inaction on the part of the Mamata Banerjee government, with the chief minister choosing to give the doctors an ultimatum instead, led to the resignation of many senior doctors in the city and protests by doctors all over the country, culminating in a nationwide strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on 17 June 2019. With all non-essential medical services, including OPD services, being affected by the strike, patients across the country were left to their own devices.

Not too long ago, in 2017 we saw a similar situation in Maharashtra, when, after a spate of attacks on doctors, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors had striked for five days. Then too, their demands were regarding increase in security measures, which were acceded to by the government. In the two years since, we seem to have not learnt any lessons, with the demands of the doctors and the solutions of the government again revolving solely around the issue of security. While the demands of the doctors for more security and safety measures and a strong law are justified, these will work only as stop-gap measures.

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Updated On : 26th Jun, 2019
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