JAMMU, June 17: Healthcare services were severely affected today in Government Medical College, Jammu and its associated hospitals as doctors observe full-day strike in solidarity with their protesting colleagues in West Bengal.
Many patients particularly rural areas of Jammu, caught unaware of the strike, visited GMC Jammu for consultations but had to go back disappointed as the doctors had boycotted OPD services completely.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has given the nationwide call to withdraw non-emergency healthcare services after junior doctors in West Bengal went on a strike against a brutal attack on their colleagues by the relatives of a patient who died during treatment.
Not only in GMC Jammu, but also in SMGS Hospital, Super Speciality Hospital and Chest Diseases Hospital, Jammu, Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) remained closed and scheduled surgeries were postponed. However, emergency services remained operational. Unlike last Saturday, senior doctors also observed full strike and stayed away from OPD services and other routine works.
“Those patients or their relatives who take the law into their hands should be strictly dealt with. While we understand the pain of the doctors, is it justified that patients who travel several kilometers to get treatment GMC Jammu suffer like this?” asked an elderly patient visiting the Medicine OPD at GMC Jammu.
Earlier, in the morning all the junior doctors assembled at GMC Cafeteria and while raising slogans in support of their demands moved towards OPD block. “We demand a comprehensive central legislation to check violence against doctors and other medical professionals at hospitals,” the protesting doctors said and also urged the West Bengal Government to fulfill the demands of the striking doctors and resolve the matter amicably at the earliest.
Later in the evening, Amit Kumar, president, RDA GMC Jammu said that the protesting doctors in West Bengal have agreed to withdraw their week-long stir after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced steps to scale up security at hospitals. He said as soon as a formal announcement on withdrawal of the strike is made by them, we will follow the suit.