The Indian Medical Association has called for a nationwide strike on June 17.
“On Thursday night, some senior TMC leaders demanded we lift the strike. They abused and even threatened to kill us,” alleged Arpan Mukherjee, a house staff of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.
Mamata Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress has denied the charge and insists that the doctors were being prompted.
”There is no question of threatening any junior doctor. On Thursday night, after a discussion with us, they agreed to lift the strike. But later, they might have been instigated to change their opinion,” said Murshidabad TMC MP, Abu Taher Khan.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday accused the doctors, protesting the assault of the junior doctors at a Kolkata hospital earlier this week, of acting with political motives. The latter have demanded an unconditional apology from the chief minister.
“Doctors are feeling insecure. I would urge them to return to work in the interest of the common people, but continue their protest,” said the Bharatiya Janata Party Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh.
Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury said, “The relatives of the patients are waiting for an immediate solution but the CM has made the situation complex. She will be solely responsible if the doctors stop work across the state.”
Banerjee’s nephew Abesh Banerjee, a junior doctor, was seen leading a protest at a hospital, while Kolkata Mayor and minister Firhad Hakim’s daughter, Shabba Hakim, criticised the role of the ruling party.
Between Thursday and Friday afternoon, as many as 642 doctors – professors, associate professors, assistant professors and medical officers – have written to the authorities.
The establishments where doctors submitted resignations were R G Kar Medical College and Hospital (126), SSKM Hospital (175), N R S Medical College and Hospital (108), North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (119), National Medical College and Hospital (16), Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital (45), Burdwan Medical College and Hospital (35) and College of Medicine & Sagore Dutta Hospital (18).
The cease work by junior doctors in government run hospitals in the state is now in its fourth day, virtually crippling healthcare services for thousands of suffering families.