Doctors across India stage massive walk-out in protest over attack

The 24-hour strike began at 6am local time on Monday following a nationwide call by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). For the first time, doctors from the private and public sector have joined the cause, involving junior doctors, residents and dentists.

All hospitals have reportedly been affected by the demonstration, except for emergency services, the labor ward and intensive care units, however the scale of the protest is having a knock-on effect on these services.

The IMA, which represents about 350,000 of India’s 900,000 doctors, is calling for harsher punishments for people who assault medical staff. They also want security cameras and strict visitor restrictions after a family assaulted three doctors they blamed for the death of a relative in a state-run Kolkata hospital.

The protests have been met with heavy criticism of their “absolutely shameless” actions, which could possibly put patients at risk. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among the critics, noting that the army or police do not strike when one of their colleagues is killed.

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