The junior doctors have called off their week long strike after a meeting with the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
In a meeting with the doctors, Mamata suggested measures to tighten security at the hospitals so that no attendant or family member could assault the doctors in the future. It was also suggested that not more than 3 family members would be allowed in the emergency.
Mamata reportedly said “one of the key measures could be the creation of an interface between the doctors and patients”. There were also suggestions of stationing a senior police officer at every hospital.
"We had police forces posted in hospitals but now we need to streamline the entry of patient parties," said Kolkata police chief, Anuj Sharma, who was also present at the meeting.
After the meeting, Mamata Banerjee said that she was proud of the doctors and they should understand that all patients are not bad.
The doctors also echoed the same sentiment saying “We came here for because we believe you have good intentions. If possible try and take action against the recent violence against the doctors.”
"We withdraw our strike after our meeting with the Chief Minister. The meeting has been positive and fruitful. We appeal to all junior doctors across Bengal to resume work as soon as possible. We have decided to give time to the state government to implement our proposals raised in the meeting," a representative of the striking doctors said at the state-run NRS Medical College and Hospital.
"We want to thank and congratulate all our friends, including the common people who stood by us during this movement. We thank the entire doctors' fraternity in the country who spontaneously extended their support and made this movement possible. We hope to maintain this unity in the future," he added.
The junior doctors said the Chief Minister has accepted all their demands and promised to take action within the next three days.
"We had a 12-point demand. The Chief Minister has accepted all of them. Everyone has seen the live broadcast of our meeting with her. Banerjee said she will take necessary steps to revamp the security and infrastructure at the hospitals as soon as possible," the representative said.
"We want to emphasise the main point of today's meeting which the honourable Chief Minister also emphasised upon. Doctor's should not be assaulted. There should be zero tolerance towards any form of assault on doctors, be it verbal or physical," he added.
The representative said a small section of the society, which used to think that they can escape even after assaulting doctors, should listen and understand what the Chief Minister said on Monday.
"She has given a clear message that people can lodge their complaints in the grievance cells in case of any irregularities but there should not be any attack on the doctors," he said.
West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi also welcomed the resolution of the ongoing crisis caused by the state-wide strike of doctors.
"The Governor is happy that an amicable settlement has been arrived at at the meeting held today (Monday) between the Chief Minister and doctors. He appreciates the initiative taken by the Chief Minister and also the junior doctors to resolve the impasse," a press release issued by the Raj Bhavan said.
Tripathi hoped that the doctors would take up the work of care and treatment of the patients as per the high ideals of their noble profession and also that the state government would take all the steps committed in the meeting expeditiously.
Addressing the media on Sunday, Mamata had appealed to all the junior doctors to get back to work at the earliest. She also said that the administration had accepted all their demands.
On Monday, morning letters were sent out to the junior doctors asking them to come and meet the West Bengal CM. Earlier the students had said that they would not agree to a closed-door meeting and that there should be a representation from all parties on the table.
As a result, two representatives each from 14 medical colleges were asked to meet Mamata Banerjee at 2:30 pm today.
Doctors agreed to meet and a state health department bus carrying the doctors reached Nabanna to meet with CM Banerjee amidst heavy media build-up