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Supreme Court issues notice to IMA, Central Govt on doctors’ strike

New Delhi: In an unprecedented order passed on Monday by a three-judge Supreme Court bench presided by Chief Justice S A Bobde and participated by Justice B R Gavai and Justice S Kant, the apex court issued “Contempt” notice to Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Union of India against doctors’ strike.

“The order may go a long way to stop the endless pain, injuries and deaths suffered by the hapless patients as a result of frequent “strike” by doctors across India,” said Dr Kunal Saha, President, People for Better Treatment (PBT).

The Contempt petition was filed by PBT, a charitable organisation, after IMA called a nation-wide doctors’ strike last July (in support of the strikes called by Kolkata doctors demanding more protection), although the apex court had categorically held (in response to a previous PIL filed by PBT) that doctors should never resort to strike putting the lives of innocent patients to danger.

While issuing the Contempt notice to IMA directing it to respond within four weeks, the SC further held that specific modalities must be framed for the protection of the vulnerable patients.

“We hope that IMA and other medical groups will refrain from holding the vulnerable patients at ransom by going on “strike” after today’s staunch warning by the Apex Court,” said Dr Saha in a statement.

“While PBT strongly opposes any act of violence against doctors for any reason, doctors must also always follow the principles of Hippocratic Oath by providing treatment to the ailing citizens without any extraneous consideration or pressure,” he added.

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