A doctor at the Trauma Centre of Delhi's prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences was allegedly abused and threatened by the attendant of a patient last night, pushing the doctors to join the nationwide medical strike today.
Only the emergency services will be available at the premier organisation. All non-essential services are shut under the strike called by the Indian Medical Association -- the top doctors' organisation -- in solidarity with junior colleagues in Bengal. The doctors in Bengal have been on strike since last Tuesday after an intern was assaulted by the relatives of a deceased patient.
The AIIMS doctors had initially said they would hold a protest march, but won't strike work since patient care is a priority. But the situation changed after last night.
At the AIIMS Trauma Centre today, doctors said last night, when an injured patient had come in, the physician on duty had got to him after attending to the critical patients.
"This was because the patient was what we call low risk. But the attendant of the patient, who was drunk, verbally abused him and said, 'unless you see him now, I will kill you'," said Dr Amrinder Singh Malhi, the chief of the Resident Doctors' Association.
The doctors, he said, lodged a complaint with the police after which a First Information Report was filed. "After that we held a General Body Meeting and decided to join the strike," he said. The doctors are holding a protest march at the campus, after which they plan to meet health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The stand-off between the doctors and the government in Bengal showed held hopes of resolution, with the doctors softening their stand on Sunday and seeking a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"We are ready to hold talks with the chief minister at a venue of her choice, provided it is held in the open, in the presence of media persons, and not behind closed doors," a spokesperson of the doctors said.
Mamata Banerjee is expected to meet the doctors at 3 pm. The doctors, this morning, however, said they have no official intimation of the meeting.