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Medicos to strike today

Out-patient departments (OPDs) of government and private hospitals across the state will stay shut on Thursday because of a strike by medicos in support of junior doctors of Kanpur’s Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, who were allegedly assaulted by police and supporters of Samajwadi Party MLA Irfan Solanki on February 28.

Bharti Kashyap, Ranchi spokesperson of Indian Medical Association (IMA), said on Wednesday that the strike would be part of a nationwide agitation. “Emergency services will be exempted for the interest of critical patients. Private clinics will also remain open,” she added.

Jharkhand has approximately 300 government and private hospitals and nursing homes offering OPD services.

In Jamshedpur, over 1,500 medicos have threatened to join the strike, thus affecting services at OPDs in nearly 12 hospitals and nursing homes.

“We strongly condemn the brutal atrocities meted out to medicos at Uttar Pradesh. Heeding the call of the IMA, we will take part in the strike and only attend emergency services on humanitarian grounds unless the demands of junior doctors at Kanpur are accepted,” said K.P. Dubey, senior ENT specialist at Tata Main Hospital and president of IMA’s Jamshedpur chapter.

He added that the demands of Kanpur doctors include revocation of charges against the medicos involved in the clash, arrest of legislator Solanki and a judicial probe.

On Wednesday, medicos in most heal hubs sported black badges to protest the Kanpur incident.

Nearly 25 doctors under the banner of IMA (Jamshedpur chapter) demonstrated in front of East Singhbhum district collectorate and submitted a memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister, to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal. They also took out a candlelight march on Sakchi Main Road to apprise the public of the incident.

However, the protesters could not raise slogans or squat near the district collectorate because of the model code of conduct that came into place soon after announcement of Lok Sabha poll dates.

Dubey said that all doctors of the region had agreed to take part in Thursday’s agitation. “Apart from OPDs at hospitals and nursing homes, doctors will shut down their clinics. We will step up the agitation as per instructions from the apex body,” he said.

The outfit’s secretary Mritunjay Singh said the Uttar Pradesh incident could be repeated in Jharkhand.