How was the Junior Doctors' protest in West Bengal finally called off?

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has managed to put a smile on the faces of the protesting junior doctors who protested for a week and brought the health services in the state to a halt.
Doctors call off the strike in West Bengal,   Image credits: IANS

The seven-day strike of healthcare services in Bengal finally ended on Monday with loud cheers and the happy smiling faces of the group of doctors that met CM Mamata Banerjee at the secretariat. Doctors from NRS Hospital, too, broke into heavy celebrations and the protesters even asked for an excuse to the patients and their families.

The doctors who triggered severe protests across the country for a week, gave a round of applause and began to smile when Mamata Banerjee pleased them to end the strike and called them "lokkhi chhele" (good boys).

This came to an end after a 100-minute meeting between West Bengal government officials, Mamata Banerjee and a 31-member team of junior doctors, which made the doctors to call the strike off.

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After finishing the meeting on a positive note, the group of doctors went back to the NRS Hospital and college and were greeted by their colleagues with chants of "Jeetlo kara? NRS. Amra kara? Lokkhi chhele, which translates to Who won at the end? NRS. Who are we? Good boys.

Triumphant celebrations were witnessed at the gates of NRS Hospital, where the protesting doctors later begged for forgiveness in front of the patients and their families with folded hands.

NRS doctors celebrate with one of the members of the delegation that met Mamata Banerjee on Monday; Image Credits: IANS

"Our meeting and discussion with the chief minister met a logical end. We temporarily withdraw from the protest. Considering everything we expect the government to solve the issues as discussed in the due time," one of the spokespeople of the 31 doctors said after the meeting with the governing body of the forum.

The breakthrough came after Mamata Banerjee organised a meeting at the state secretariat, with representatives of the protesting doctors.

Prior to the meeting, the doctors who went to Mamata Banerjee with few demands had also asked that the meeting to be live-streamed on the news channels instead of a closed-door meeting that the chief minister wanted.

Despite talking rough against the doctors and issuing a threat earlier, Mamata Banerjee softened to the demand to telecast the meeting.

Mamata Banerjee was succeeded to bring back smiles on the faces of the doctors; 
 Image credits: PTI
On Monday, Mamata Banerjee was seen patiently hearing to all demands and points raised by the committee of the junior doctors, also taking notes in between and asking health officials and police personnel present in the room to act on the respective issues that were raised.

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The points that were decided:

Here are all the points that were discussed and were decided during the CM-doctors meeting:

1. Collapsible gate in hospitals.

2. Action according to IPC on the assaulters.

3. Three shift public relation personnel to communicate with patient party

4. A nodal police officer in all hospitals.

5. Restriction to the number of patient parties permitted in hospitals.

6. Signboard and CCTV cameras.

7. No IPC against NRS doctors in this case.

8. Declaring non-availability of doctors in government.

9. Implementation of med service protection act will need time since the law has to be framed.

10. Justifying medical negligence and subsequent grief of patient party and its outcome as violence.

11. Enquiry into police inaction also where needed.

12. Appointment of local people as security to be stopped.

13. Student and police representatives in the Rogi Kalyan Committee in every hospital.

14. Upgrading if dental hostel and ambulance.

15. Lack of infrastructure in outside medical colleges, blaming officials.

16. Problems of public health engineering.

17. Emergency police phone numbers and e-mail id for medical violence.

18. Junior doctors to be included in nabanna meeting with senior doctors.

19. Issue statement condemning violence against doctors.

21. Ethics and behavioural class for junior doctors also.

As both the sides agreed to each other's demands, Mamata Banerjee later accepted to another demand apart from the above demands, which was to meet the injured doctor, Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, in the evening.

A day after the strike was called off, services were renewed at the NRS Hospital on Tuesday. The end of the strike comes as a big relief for hundreds of patients.

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