Millennium Post

Health minister for Mamata intervention

New Delhi: Union minister of health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan on Friday appealed to chief minister Mamata Banerjee to personally intervene and resolve the impasse in hospitals because of the agitation by junior doctors.

The Union minister wrote to the chief minister urging her to provide a "secure working environment to doctors" in Bengal. At the same time, he said "doctors must also be oriented towards treating patients with courtesy and exhibiting compassion in their interactions".

"I take this opportunity to urge upon you (Mamata Banerjee) to personally intervene in resolving the current impasse and taking steps to provide a secure working environment to doctors in the state of West Bengal. The entire country is being adversely affected due to developments in West Bengal and therefore ensuring an amicable end to the agitation will be beneficial and is strongly warranted. The government of India is with you in this endeavour and is fully willing to provide any assistance you may need in this regard," the letter read.

Junior doctors have been on strike in Bengal since Tuesday and have paralysed health care. Harsh Vardhan expressed concern that the agitation was not "heading towards a resolution".

"They (the doctors) work for long hours under stressful conditions, grappling with a huge number of patients. Strong action against any person who assaults them must be ensured," the Union minister wrote to Mamata.

He hoped that the state government would tide over the crisis through better communication with the agitating doctors and through a "compassionate approach".

"It is a matter of concern that the agitation by doctors in West Bengal is not heading towards resolution, but seems to be getting aggravated. Better communication with doctors and a compassionate approach to take care of the genuine problems being faced by them in day to day functioning would definitely be helpful in tiding over the crisis which has been created," Harsh Vardhan said.

The assault on junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital has triggered protests by fellow doctors in hospitals in other states as well.

"I am writing to you in the context of the recent attack/assault on doctors at NRS Medical College, West Bengal, and the subsequent handling of the agitation by the state government. As you must be aware, resident doctors in many parts of the country are agitating and not providing OPD services today. This has caused severe hardship to patients who came for treatment leading to adversely affected healthcare services in the country," Harsh Vardhan wrote.

"Madam, you will agree with me that doctors form an important pillar of society. Our doctors rank among the best in the world…. They work for long hours under stressful conditions, grappling with huge load of patients. It is our duty to provide good working conditions and a secure environment to them. Strong action against any person who assaults them must be ensured by the law enforcement agencies."

(With inputs from Telegraph India)

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