The striking junior doctors in West Bengal on Monday reiterated their demand to hold an open door meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in presence of “live media” and said they have not received any official invitation from the state government regarding any meeting.
“We are sad that the patients are suffering due to this ongoing impasse and want this dispute to be resolved immediately. We do not want a closed door meeting with the CM. We want the conversion to be held in the presence of live media and sufficient representatives from all medical colleges,” a representative of the protesting doctors of the NRS Medical College and Hospital said on the seventh day of the strike.
“There have been media reports that a meeting has been scheduled between the agitators and the Chief Minister at the state secretariat Nabanna at 3 p.m. today. But we want to clarify that we have not received any official intimation from the state government yet. We think this is just a ploy to confuse the people,” he said.
The doctors said they want media’s presence in the meeting for the sake of transparency to the common people as they have been the ” biggest sufferers” in this strike. The striking doctors, with representatives of various medical colleges, held a four-hour long general body meeting on Sunday and said they are willing to meet Banerjee for talks at a venue of her choosing but insisted the meeting should not be held behind closed doors.
The Bengal government responded, proposing a meeting at Nabanna on Monday but cited legality and constitutional obligations against holding an open door meeting. Protesting against the brutal attack on two junior doctors by the family members of a dead patient in the NRS Medical College and Hospital on June 10 night, doctors across the state have stopped work at the outpatient departments (OPDs) in most government hospitals in the state since June 12.