Healthcare services at several government and private hospitals in the national capital will be hit on Monday, June 17 as scores of doctors have decided to boycott work for a day in support of their striking colleagues in West Bengal.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had given the strike call with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters.
Doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital, as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital are joining the strike.
The apex medical body, IMA, said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am on Tuesday, June 18.
Emergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said.
Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, which earlier decided not join the strike, held a protest march in the campus between 8 am and 9 am and will join the strike from 12 pm, the decision for which was taken at an early morning general body meeting.
"We once again urge the West Bengal administration to fulfil the demands of the striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest in the best interest of the general public," a statement issued by the AIIMS RDA said, adding a meeting of its general body will be held at 6 pm again to decide the further course of action.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have extended their support to the strike.
"Emergent Executive Committee Meeting convened decided to support the call given by IMA for withdrawal of non-essential services on 17th June (Monday) for 24 hours (6am to 6am) to protest against violence against doctors and hospitals. All clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic centres and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services," a statement by the DMA said.
Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country have chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch.
The apex medical body, IMA, has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff.
Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed, it said in a statement.
Exemplary punishment for perpetrators of violence should be a component of the central law and suitable amendments be brought in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the IMA said.
The medical body has launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of the central law to check violence against healthcare workers.