New Delhi: Healthcare services at several government and private hospitals in the national capital are likely to take a hit on Monday 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), which had given the strike call, said on Sunday that it will go ahead with the strike with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters here.
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 will not function on Monday.
The IMA said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday. Emergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said.
The announcement came a day after Union health minister Harsh Vardhan asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.
However, the apex medical body, IMA, demanded a comprehensive Central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff and at hospitals. 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 should be brought in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the IMA said.
The medical body had launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union home minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of a Central law to check violence against healthcare workers.
In its statement, the IMA said that effective implementation of the Central law has to be ensured by incorporating suitable clauses.
The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) also extended their support to the strike call.
“Emergent Executive Committee Meeting convened today 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 centrés and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services,” a statement by DMA said.