Odisha Doctors Join National Strike

The Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) call to halt non-essential services as a mark of protest against increasing hostilities towards doctors will extend to Odisha, and affect Outpatient Department (OPD) services here on Monday.

The IMA’s Odisha chapter had conducted a meeting on Sunday evening and decided to proceed with the call for a national strike. They appealed to all hospitals in the state to withdraw non-essential services for twenty-four hours, starting from 6 AM on Monday and continuing till 6 AM on Tuesday.

Janmejaya Mohapatra, who heads IMA Odisha, has said that emergency services would function normally and would not be affected. He also remarked that the Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA), Odisha Medical Teachers Association (OMTA), Junior Doctors Association, Resident Doctors Association, IMA Students Network and Nursing Home Association, have all heeded to its request for the strike.

The state government, as a precautionary measure, has advised all medical colleges and hospitals to help ensure that patient care services are not affected on Monday. Pramod Kumar Meherda, the state health secretary, said that while doctors would be permitted to engage in token protests, they should do it in a way such that patients are not put in the muddle. Meherda also added that several steps had been taken for the safety and security of doctors.

The IMA’s national call for a doctor’s strike came after a brutal attack on a medical intern student in West Bengal sparked outrage among the medical community. After days of flare-ups and an agonising wait for patients, a possible solution to the tempest might come to an end after junior doctors agreed to meet Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal’s Chief Minister, today.

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