The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Doctors eye arrest route to Writers’

Charging the state government with apathy towards state-run-hospitals and delay in modifying the controversial Clinical Establishments Act, doctors owing allegiance to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) will launch an anti-government agitation in and outside Calcutta and court arrest on December 20.

At a meeting called by the working committee of the Bengal branch of the IMA on Wednesday, it was decided that an agitation would be launched against issues like alleged police atrocities on doctors, the plight of ESI doctors and the government’s decision to accord importance to alternative medicine practitioners.

The IMA doctors will assemble at Esplanade East on December 20 and hold a sit-in from noon till 4 pm.

Armed with placards and banners highlighting the poor conditions in government hospitals and “the police menace”, the agitators will march towards Writers’ Buildings and undertake law-violation programmes at various points of the city.

“For several months, we have been telling the government that there are important issues requiring immediate attention, but no one listens to us. For how long can we allow health department officers to pressure doctors to implement the Clinical Establishments Act, although they know that it is under review and is yet to be implemented'” asked IMA state chapter president Subir Ganguly. The IMA office has received several such complaints from members.

An IMA delegation met minister Surjya Kanta Mishra a few days ago and urged his intervention in the matter. The IMA has also taken up the grievances of the “poorly-paid” ESI doctors neglected for years.

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