Kolkata, June 16 : The striking doctors of West Bengal on Sunday decided to hold talks with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to immediately end the impasse but said there should be media coverage of the deliberations to avoid discrepancies.
“The last press interview by our honourable Chief Minister was full of discrepancies which had led to false propagation of the motive behind our protests and the response of the government to it. Hence it needs clarification,” a representative of the protesting doctors of the NRS Medical College and Hospital told media after a General Body meeting on day six of the strike that has majorly hit state-run health services.
The meeting was attended by representatives of other hospitals participating in the strike.
“We want immediate end to this impasse through discussions with the CM which, to maintain transparency, shouldn’t be behind closed doors. The venue can be chosen by the CM, but that should be able to accommodate representatives of all medical colleges and the national media,” he said.
Doctors “want to join duty as early as possible in the best interest of health care delivery to the common people once all our demands are met adequately and logically”, the representative said.
“We are hopeful that our honourable Chief Minister will be considerate enough to solve the problems that our entire state is facing currently,” he added.
Senior doctors expected a solution after the meeting to end the stalemate.
“We are hoping to end the impasse as early as possible and resume normalcy in the state health care services,” West Bengal Doctors Forum President Arjun Sengupta told IANS.
Earlier, the agitating doctors had insisted that Banerjee visit the NRS Medical College and Hospital, the epicentre of the protests.
On Friday night, the striking doctors rejected a proposal from the Chief Minister for talks at the state secretariat Nabanna, and stuck to their demand that she would have to come down to the NRS Medical College and Hospital to listen to their grievances and apologise for having cast aspersions on them.
Health services in the state-run hospitals remained partially disrupted due to the “cease work” by junior doctors. There was mass resignations of doctors at various hospitals and the patients suffered without treatment as the protests reached its sixth day.
Protesting against the brutal attack on two junior doctors by the family members of a dead patient in the NRS Medical College and Hospital on Monday night, doctors across the state have stopped work at the outpatient departments (OPDs) in most government hospitals in the state since Tuesday.