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2-min read

Patients Face a Harrowing Time As Junior Govt Doctors Protest in Bengal Over Attack on Colleague

Senior police officers and state Health Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya visited the hospital, but they were heckled by protesters. Despite repeated pleas, the junior doctors refused to call off the strike.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:June 12, 2019, 10:18 PM IST
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Patients Face a Harrowing Time As Junior Govt Doctors Protest in Bengal Over Attack on Colleague
Juniors doctors at the NRS Medical College and Hospital continue their stir for the second day. (News18)
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Kolkata: Standing in front of the women’s ward at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, Manoj Pramanik was inconsolable when he received his relative Urmila Pramanik’s body after waiting for 12 hours.

Urmila died of cancer on Tuesday night at Ward Number 16, but her family members couldn’t take out the body due to the strike called by junior doctors in protest against the violent assault on them on June 10 following a patient’s death.

The strike by the junior doctors entered the second day, even as those from other government hospitals joined the stir on Wednesday. They locked the hospital gates and sat on a dharna in protest against the attack.

With district hospital doctors also participating in the agitation, lakhs of patients were left in the lurch.

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Patients with their families outside the NRS Medical College and Hospital.

Sixty-seven-year-old Shankar Das, referred to SSKM Hospital in the city from Bankura, was forced to sleep under a tree on Tuesday night with the saline drip hanging on a bamboo stick.

“My father is a heart patient. We weren’t aware of the situation and now, due to the strike he has been lying under the tree since last night. I am completely devastated,” said Ganesh Das.

Few metres away, Ruma Pal (seven) was writhing in pain with a head injury, while Sunita Singh of Kidderpore in an advanced stage of pregnancy needed immediate medical attention. Her repeated requests fell on deaf ears.

“My daughter fell down from the roof while playing. She suffered a head injury. We brought her here but no one is ready to treat her. I don’t know what to do,” said Ruma’s father Sunil Pal, tears rolling down his face.

The stench of urine, blood stains and vomit made the situation worse for patients as well as their families.

The Calcutta Medical College and Hospital and Calcutta National Medical College wore a similar look.

Later in the day, some family members of patients forced open the gates and entered most of the hospitals. They also put up a road blockade at places.

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(Families of patients wait outside NRS Medical College and Hospital)

The state-wide protest (12-hour suspension of work from 9am to 9pm) was triggered after Pariboho Mukherjee, a junior doctor at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, was beaten up on June 10 by the family members of a patient over allegations of negligence.

Mukherjee (24), who had sustained a skull fracture and was admitted to the Institute of Neurosciences, is out of danger.

Senior police officers and state Health Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya visited the hospital, but they were heckled by protesters. Despite repeated pleas by the minister, the junior doctors refused to call off the strike.

Bhattacharya said, “We are trying to convince the junior doctors. Emergency service is open. Let’s see, we are trying our best to resolve the issue.”

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also held a meeting over the issue, but the deadlock is yet to come to an end.

| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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