Bengaluru: Doctors nationwide have announced that they will go off duty on Monday (June 17). This after the assault on a doctor by a patient’s relative in Kolkata. Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has condemned the attack and requested the doctors to ensure that protests are peaceful.

Kumaraswamy took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to condemn the attack on doctors. In his tweet, he said, "I condemn the attack on the doctors and request the doctors on strike today to ensure that their protest is peaceful and does not cause any problems to the patients."

Karnataka health minister Shivanand Patil too wrote to the doctors in view of their nationwide strike. In his letter, he said, "I agree with the protest called on Monday. It's our responsibility to provide safety to doctors. Our ministry condemns attacks on any doctor. But I request all doctors including private and government to take part in this protest only in a symbolic way and make sure no patient is troubled. Let this protest be symbolic and I'm sure people will support you and I'm also sure you all will fulfill your duty to serve the poor patient."

The strike will affect all healthcare services in the country as the Indian Medical Association (IMA) decided to go on a nationwide strike in solidarity with protesting doctors in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The IMA has decided to withdraw all non-essential services on June 17. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters in New Delhi. However, emergency and casualty services will continue to function.

AIIMS Delhi, however has decided to step away from the protests. They cited patient care as a reason for calling off their strike. However, the protest will continue to support Kolkata doctors despite calling off the strike, the doctors said.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has reportedly agreed to meet the Kolkata doctors who went on a strike on Tuesday (June 11) after one of their colleagues was assaulted by a patient's relatives who died.

The meeting is likely to take place at an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat on Monday at 3 pm.