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WB strike: DMA joins solidarity protest, doctors march to Rajghat

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) Friday extended its full support to the protesting doctors in West Bengal even as it asserted that medical facilities and number of doctors need to be augmented to address issues related to patients.

Scores of doctors under the umbrella of the DMA also held a dharna in front of its office in Daryaganj and later marched to Rajghat.

"We do not believe in violence, and that is why we marched to the samadhi of Gandhiji this afternoon and paid tribute to him. He taught us to resolve every issue amicably with non-violent measures. So, family members of patients should not resort to violence," DMA president Dr Girish Tyagi told reporters.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.

At a press conference held at the DMA office, Tyagi emphasised that the association has extended its support as the DMA condemns the assault on doctor in Kolkata, and this trend has to be arrested.

"If people have grievances against a doctor, they can approach a relevant forum or a court but assaulting doctors can never be accepted," he said.

"Having said that, we also feel, doctors in government hospitals are burdened with work as the doctor-patient ratio is low. Therefore, they are unable to give adequate consultation time which leads to dissatisfaction among patients, triggering angst against a doctor," he said.

The DMA chief said the government needs to ensure that all medical infrastructure in hospitals are well-maintained and number of doctors be increased to meet patients' requirements.

Asked about the cases of violence in private hospitals, he said, "The cause of violence in government hospitals is different than in private ones. A patient getting overcharged by a facility, etc. leads to violence in private hospitals. But, even family members of patients should not resort to violence."

Tyagi said the DMA will also send a letter to the president, prime minister and the Union health minister on the overall situation.

The DMA has been demanding a national law against violence against doctors and the association will reiterate that in the letter.

"Our protest was just day-long, but we will be forced to escalate our protest if suitable steps are not initiated immediately to protect doctors. The responsibility arising out of the consequences of these protests will lie solely with the administration," Tyagi said.

Dr Arvind Chopra, honorary state secretary of the DMA, said members of the association shut down their OPDs and doctors there protested by wearing black badges, showing solidarity with their colleagues in West Bengal.

A national law against violence on hospitals should be brought in that should provide a minimum of seven years of imprisonment to a person engaging in violence in hospitals, the DMA said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 14 2019. 20:35 IST