Outlook (July 10, 2019)A new contempt of court petition was filed by PBT against the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Ministry of Health for the nation-wide doctors’ strike last month (see news below). Doctors went on a nation-wide strike on 17th June, 2019 to express solidarity to the Kolkata doctors who were continuing strike to protest alleged attack on some junior doctors at NRS Medical College by some friends and relatives of a patient who died due to alleged medical negligence. Although PBT never condones physical violence on doctors and hospitals even in the event of genuine medical negligence, innocent patients should not be held at ransom by doctors’ strike that disrupts hospital services and brings endless pain, suffering and death to the ailing citizens.
Following a “doctors’ strike” in 2012 when a number of patients had died in Delhi, PBT filed a PIL against the IMA in the Supreme Court (SC W.P. No. 253/2012) when the Apex Court had categorically held that doctors should not go on strike under any condition. Despite such unequivocal observation from the Supreme Court, IMA showed no regard to the Apex Court’s judgment when they called another nation-wide doctors’ strike last month in a clearly contemptuous display against the Apex Court. PBT has filed this PIL this week to hold IMA and Health Ministry in contempt of the Apex Court. PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha is in India to plead for victims of medical negligence in different consumer courts and it is expected that he will appear before the Supreme Court to argue the “contempt” case in the next couple of weeks.