Toll rises as docs stick to demands

Toll rises as docs stick to demands

34 patients dead so far, meeting with CM fails to break deadlock

As many as 34 patients died for want of treatment in different parts of UP as the strike by doctors in protest against  police assault in Kanpur entered the fifth day.

Doctors have decided to intensify their strike after talks with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav failed to break the deadlock. The doctors remained adamant on their demand for suspension of Kanpur district police chief Yashashvi Yadav and arrest of Samajwadi Party legislator Irfan Solanki, whose supporters allegedly assaulted doctors in the town on Friday last following an altercation.

Health services remained affected in Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Allahabad and Gorakhpur medical colleges as doctors struck work and held demonstrations to press for their demands. 

The talks between the administration and doctors in Kanpur broke down on Sunday night, following which police sent 24 doctors, who had been arrested for allegedly damaging vehicles and assaulting the MLA and his supporters, to jail.

Stir intensifies

The doctors’ stir intensified with 200 medicos in Agra joining the resignation spree. As the protest entered the fifth day, the Indian Medical Association gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the Akhilesh Yadav government to fulfil its demands – arrest of Solanki, action against SSP Yadav and withdrawal of charges against 24 junior doctors, who were granted bail Monday night but refused to come out of jail.

The issue has also taken a political dimension with opposition BJP and Aam Aadmi Party extending support to the stir, which has also affected Lucknow, Varanasi, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, among other areas.

A day after 300 medical faculty of GSV Medical College resigned, some 200 junior doctors of Agra Medical College gave their resignation to the UP government, ignoring an appeal made by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to call off the stir.

The protest resonated in Delhi too with resident doctors of the prestigious AIIMS sporting black badges and holding a candlelight vigil to express solidarity with the striking doctors. “The strike of junior doctors will continue till the three demands of the Kanpur doctors were met,” said vice president of IMA UP unit and president of Agra unit Dr Sudhir Dhakre.

The doctors, led by IMA, said they were trying to meet the President and the Prime Minister in New Delhi to apprise him of the situation. They have also sought time to meet Governor B L Joshi and the chief minister over the issue.

The 24 junior doctors who were granted bail have refused to come out of jail till the three demands are met. Medical services were severely affected in several parts of UP, causing major inconvenience to patients. Dhakre said the IMA has given a 48-hour deadline to the UP to meet the doctors’ demands, otherwise the strike would take a pan India dimension. 

“There have been instances of doctors being manhandled by the kin of patients in the past, which is highly condemnable,” said RDA General Secretary Dr Shashank Pooniya.AIIMS resident doctors also observed a ‘black badge day’ on Tuesday as a gesture to support the ongoing strike by doctors in Kanpur and all other medical colleges in UP.

The IMA has also received a complaint from Students of GSVM Medical College of Kanpur informing about the brutal attack by the Samajwadi Party MLA, Irfan Solanki and his supporters on February 28.

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