The high court on Friday reminded doctors of the Hippocratic oath they had taken for patients’ welfare and hoped the state would consider the grievances of the agitating doctors and persuade them to resume duties.
“The doctors should remember that they take Hippocratic oath to provide service for the welfare of patients,” Chief Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan said.
A division bench headed by the chief Justice and Justice Suvra Ghosh heard a public interest litigation moved by the People for Better Treatment (PBT), a city-based organisation that fights for the cause of patients across the state.
The bench directed the state government to persuade the agitating doctors to resume their duties and file a “comprehensive report” on June 21.
“We hope that things will take better shape so that advocate general of the state shall be able to file a comprehensive report before this court on June 21,” the bench said in its order.
Moving the petition on behalf of PBT, Kunal Saha said in court that the Supreme Court had restrained doctors from taking parts in strikes.
“In the light of the Supreme Court judgment, a Calcutta High Court division bench had expressed its desire that doctors should not take part in strikes or hold strikes,” Saha, the chairman of PBT, said.
A large number of patients have been suffering because of the ongoing strike by junior doctors, he said.
“Patients are dying in absence of treatment. At this moment, Calcutta High Court should declare a ban on the strike by the doctors,” he said.
Advocate-general Kishore Dutta told the bench about steps the government had taken to bring back normality in the state’s healthcare.
Saibalendu Bhowmik was present in court on behalf of the state medical council.
After hearing all sides, the chief justice said: “We do not propose to proceed with the adverse litigation. There may be some grievances of the agitating doctors.”
The judge said the government should consider the grievances of the doctors and persuade them to resume duties at the earliest.
A senior lawyer of the court said the court had not found any reason to interfere in the matter as this stage.
“That is why it takes the matter as adverse litigation. The court hoped that it would be settled through discussions.”