Private clinics and nursing homes would remain closed for three days from Friday midnight.
Doctors and healthcare professionals, owing allegiance to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), have decided to go on a strike to protest against the inability of police to check incidents of attacks on them by attendants of patients.
M.A. Rahim, president, IMA, Muzaffarpur, said: “Private doctors have decided to keep their clinics and nursing homes closed for three days after mobs attacked the staff at the institutions run by C.B. Kumar, Anzar Ahmad and Durga Shankar.”
He added: “After attacking the nursing homes and assaulting the staff, the mob lodged FIRs against the doctors at the police stations concerned.”
“Instead of investigating the case properly, the police exerted pressure on the doctors to cough up compensation,” said IMA district secretary Sanjay Kumar.
On Thursday night, hundreds of doctors held an emergency meeting and a decision was taken to suspend the services. A delegation of IMA representatives, led by Rahim, met senior superintendent of police (SSP) Saurav Kumar on Friday and sought action against the people who had attacked the nursing homes.
The SSP told The Telegraph: “The IMA members furnished a detailed list of demands, including security for the doctors, and stringent measures to check the attacks on them and their clinics.”
He said he had directed the deputy superintendent of police (city) Upendra Kumar to look into the complaints.
IMA secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “We have also chalked out a plan to prevent attacks based on our observations. Patients from some notorious localities, like Khabra, Maripur, Barhampura, Chandwara and Gannipur, would be referred to government hospitals.”
Senior doctors, however, are unhappy with the decision of the IMA. G.K. Thakur, superintendent, Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, said: “Doctors of younger generations often say things without thinking. The statement of the IMA secretary is illegal and unethical.”
The IMA, too, did not sanction Sanjay’s proposal. Its president, Rahim, said: “These are unfortunate things uttered by angry doctors. I have asked doctors not to say such things.”
The authorities have taken steps to deal with the crisis that might rise from the strike. Chief medical officer-cum-civil surgeon Giyan Bhushan said: “Doctors and staff at government hospitals have been altered. They will work as usual but they will also be ready to deal with an emergency.”