Bengal doctors’ strike: Impasse continues as medicos refuse to meet Mamata Banerjee, seek unconditional apology from her

Kolkata: Striking junior doctors in West Bengal declined to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday night. However, Banerjee has invited them again to meet her Saturday evening to end the deadlock in government hospitals.

The doctors, who struck work for the fourth day Friday, declined to meet the chief minister, demanding an unqualified apology from her.

As the doctors continue to protest for the fifth day, West Bengal remains the worst-hit state with at least 13 big government hospitals affected.

In a move that could paralyze hundreds of government-run health facilities across the country, thousands of doctors were on strike on Friday, with the medical fraternity from other places – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Kerala, Bhopal, Odisha, Jharkhand – extending their support to fellow colleagues.

Agitating medicos also put up six conditions for withdrawal of their stir.

“We want an unqualified apology from Chief Minister Banerjee for the manner in which she addressed us at the SSKM Hospital yesterday. She should not have said what she said. She should come to the NRS Hospital to meet us,” said Dr Arindam Dutta, a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors.

After her visit to the state-run SSKM Hospital Thursday, Banerjee had alleged some outsiders had entered the medical colleges to create disorder.

She had also called the agitation as a doing of the CPI(M) and the BJP.

She had also asked the agitating junior doctors across the state to resume work by 2 pm, failing which she had warned them of disciplinary actions. The doctors had flouted her warning.

State Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, meanwhile, ┬ásaid he had called up Banerjee to address the issue of doctors’ strike but got no reply from her

(With inputs from agencies)