New Delhi, Jun 14 : In the wake nationwide protests by doctors against the attack on a junior doctor in West Bengal earlier this week, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday appealed to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to withdraw her ultimatum to the medical fraternity and urged the striking medicos to end their protest in the larger interest of society.
'I feel very sad that doctors across India had to strike work in protest against atrocities on doctors in W Bengal & consequently patients across India are suffering. I appeal to Mamata Banerjee to withdraw her ultimatum to the medical community & not make this a prestige issue,' he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Vardhan urged the doctors to end their strike and assured that he will take all possible measures to ensure a safe environment for them at hospitals across the country.
"I urge doctors to end their strike in the larger interest of society. I will take all possible measures to ensure a safe environment for them at hospitals across the country. I’ll write to all states where such incidents have occurred & ensure safe working conditions for doctors," he said in another tweet.
Doctors in several cities across the country are staying away from work today to show support to their colleagues in West Bengal who have been on strike since Tuesday.
Doctors across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram and other cities have boycotted work for a day, hampering medical services.
"If one chief minister shows sensitivity and changes her behaviour, it will end the suffering of patients across the country," the minister said.
During a visit to a state-run hospital in Kolkata on Thursday, Ms Banerjee warned doctors who won't return to work. Doctors who don't return to work must leave the hostel, she said. "They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way," she said. "I condemn doctors who have gone on strike. Policemen die while on duty but don't go on a strike," she added.
The doctors have defied the Chief Minister's ultimatum, saying they will not get back to work until they get better security. (UNI)