Medical services were hit on Monday as doctors across Assam joined the daylong strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in solidarity with their counterparts in Bengal.
Services have been withdrawn for 24 hours at the outpatient departments of all medical colleges and hospitals in the state, with the junior doctors observing a sit-in protest, sporting black badges.
The doctors, with placards in hand, were seen demanding security for medicos across the country.
Some senior doctors and healthcare personnel took time off from work to participate in the protest.
The IMA has called for a 24-hour strike on Monday, withdrawing non-essential health services across the country in the wake of the assault on doctors in West Bengal.
Emergency and casualty services, however, continued to function everywhere.
“On humanitarian grounds, we are providing emergency services. Only OPDs will remain closed for the day,” said a member of Junior Doctors’ Association.
Another doctor sought strict laws for their protection in view of the assault in the Kolkata hospital.
“We demand laws for protection of doctors and strict implementation of legal provisions so that attendants of patients do not attack us in future,” he said.
Two doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital in the West Bengal capital sustained serious injuries in an attack by the family members and relatives of a patient, who died on June 10.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had on Saturday asked states to consider enacting a specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from violence.
The IMA has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff.