Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today suggested 10-point security measures for safety of doctors in hospitals that would prevent a recurrence of attacks by relatives of patients. At a meeting today with 24 representatives of junior doctors, she said one of the key measures could be the creation of an interface between the doctors and patients that would take the pressure off the medics. She also suggested stationing a senior police officer at each hospital and streamlining the entry of patient's attendants in the emergency section.
The doctors' strike which started in Kolkata after a junior doctor of the government-run NRS Medical College and hospital was attacked by the relatives of a patient who died, has become a pan-India protest. Hospitals across the country today suspended all but essential services in response to a call from the Indian Medical Association.
The matter has also acquired political overtones with the BJP's Union Minister Babul Supriyo taking on the Mamata Banerjee government over it.
The striking junior doctors, who initially rejected the government's offer for talks, indicated yesterday that they wanted a solution.
"We came here for discussion because we want a solution... We believe that you have good intentions. If possible, please take appropriate action against the unwanted incidents that have taken place," the doctors said during the meeting today, dubbing the Chief Minister their "guardian".
"We will try to ensure that more than two people do not enter the emergency ward at a time... the news of anyone's death or updates about the patient's health will be communicated through proper channels and in a most humble manner," Mamata Banerjee said, explaining the possible 10-point security measures.
"One officer from the police should be made the nodal officer responsible for all hospitals," Ms Banerjee said.
She also asked the administration ad police officers, who were present at the meeting, to provide the doctors with the details of those who attacked the junior doctor at the NRS hospital and the action taken against them. This was one of the key demands of the doctors.
"We had police forces posted in hospitals, but now we need to streamline the entry of patient party in the hospital, so that we can minimise the chance of eventualities," said Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma, who was present at the meeting.