Junior Doctors Threaten Stir If Police Act Against Colleagues


Kolkata: Junior doctors at SSKM hospital threatened to pull out all stops and launch a statewide agitation if any action was taken against colleagues who had clashed with patient relatives on Monday night. In fact, the junior doctors insist there was no clash but a heated exchange after some on-duty colleagues were assaulted. This move comes after reports of the police drawing up a list of junior doctors who were allegedly involved in the incident.

“We want the administration to get down to the bottom of the issue and find out why such incidents of attack on junior doctors happen? Instead of doing this with an aim to solve the problem, if they plan any administrative attack on junior doctors, this will force agitation in all medical colleges across the state,” said Kabiul Hoque, a junior doctor, representing Junior Doctor Unity (JDU).

The junior doctors at SSKM pointed out lack of infrastructure and acute manpower crisis were the main reason for patients’ ire. On Tuesday, they had submitted 10 demands that include enhancing infrastructure, bridging the manpower gap, preventing touts in the campus and better security system.

They also alleged that those involve in the attack on junior doctors on Monday night were touts. “On Tuesday , senior health department officials including the health secretary , the director of medical education and PWD and youth affairs minister Aroop Biswas promised to look into our demands and implement some of it in a week. We have faith in them and really want to see some work on the ground soon,” said Hoque.

Even as the administration managed to tide over the crisis of Tuesday’s junior doctor agitation, nurses in the hospital protested on Wednesday. They alleged their colleague Sanchayita Jana and a trainee nurse were beaten up with a sandal by the relative of a patient who died.

Shankar Shaw, 48, of Chetla was admitted in the hospital’s Mackenzie ward on trolley No.6 on Monday . He was suspected to be suffering from stomach cancer. Doctors said his condition was already serious when he was brought to the hospital. On Wednesday morning, he was wheeled to the MRI room for investigation. The patient died around noon after he was brought back to the ward.

“Sangita Shaw, the patient’s relative, took off her sandal and hit a staff nurse and a trainee, alleging negligence. All along, we had been saying the patient was serious. How can relatives just blame doctors and nurses if a critical patient dies,” said a nurse.

Within minutes, the nurses headed to the administrative block demanding arrest of the offending woman.They also demanded security be hauled up.

“In addition, they should recruit more nurses to solve the manpower crisis. There are only four nurses for 95 patients in the hospital. However much we try, patients’ relatives will suspect we are not giving enough attention,” said Bhaswati Mukherjee, a senior nurse.