SC notice to govt, IMA on plea against doctors' strike

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant sought a response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the IMA on a contempt petition filed by Kunal Saha on behalf of organisation 'People for Better Treatment'.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and the Indian Medical Association on a plea for contempt action against them for a nation-wide strike by doctors on June 17 and bringing an endless pain, suffering and death of innocent patients across India, in violation of the apex court's judgment of 2014.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant sought a response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the IMA on a contempt petition filed by Kunal Saha on behalf of organisation 'People for Better Treatment'.

Saha, a US-based doctor, whose wife was treated by Kolkata doctors in 1998, could not survive in view of negligence in the performance of their duties. He subsequently formed 'People for Better Treatment' to raise the issue of breach of care in medical treatment.

The petitioner, led by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, contended in spite of the repeated and clear calls from the highest court of the land, doctors across the country have continued to resort to strike disrupting regular hospital services.

“Being the largest medical group in India and Ministry of Health, are absolutely liable for the deliberate and blatant breach and disobedience of the order by the Supreme Court on November 11, 2014, whereby the top court categorically held that doctors’ strike may be deemed as “negligence warranting action for misconduct”,” the petition stated.

Junior doctors at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital (NRS) in Kolkata went on a strike on June 11, a day after they were allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a deceased patient following allegations of medical negligence. One of the doctors received serious skull injuries.

The Indian Medical Association also called a nation-wide doctors’ strike on June 17, 2019 to demonstrate solidarity and in support of the striking doctors in West Bengal doctors, crippling
medical services across the country.

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