HEALTH ASSAULT: Duty skip after assault – Out-patient department closed

HEALTH ASSAULT: Duty skip after assault – Out-patient department closed – tawdry ego the main problem, not under management’s control, the culture of agitation, all to suffer ?!!

Patients wait outside the Alipurduar Subdivisional Hospital on Monday - all to suffer for crimes of a few ?!! (Anirban Choudhury)


Alipurduar, Aug. 9: The doctors at the subdivisional hospital here today began an indefinite boycott of out-patient department to protest an alleged assault on one of their colleagues on Friday night.

The hospital has 31 doctors and all they have decided to refrain from private practice also till authorities give an assurance on their safety while they are on duty.

A meeting between Alipurduar subdivisional officer Anurag Srivastav and the representatives of the Health Services Doctors’ Association in the evening to discuss the matter ended without an agreement.

The doctors later said they would get back to the administration tomorrow.

According to Paran Chandra Tudu, the president of the association’s unit here, and a doctor attached to the hospital, around 9.30pm on Friday, Kalpana Das, 45, a resident of Panialguri in Samuktala, was brought to the hospital after being bitten by a snake.

“Madhab Haldar, the doctor on duty, attended on her but she soon expired. Pranab Das, the victim’s son, accused the doctor of coming late to attend on his mother and began abusing him, along with his friends. Haldar was assaulted and manhandled by the mob. They also entered the emergency unit of the hospital and chased the doctors and nurses away,” said Tudu. He added that the police had to be called to tackle the situation.

Pranab said the doctor had come to attend his mother after 45 minutes of her admission. “I have lodged an FIR with police, accusing the doctor of dereliction of duty,” he alleged.

The wildcat strike by the doctors caught patients unawares. Mothers were seen waiting outside the closed out-patient department with their children. Each day, an average of 300 patients visit the department that remains open from 9am to 2pm, said hospital sources. Champa Das arrived at the hospital from Tapshikata, 12km away.

“My son Ravi is running a high temperature. Why should the doctors make poor people like us suffer? I am still waiting to see if they will treat my child,” she said.

Tudu, however, said doctors were attending to some serious cases in the emergency ward of the hospital. “We strongly condemn the assault on Haldar and will not attend the out-patient department and our private clinics till the administration provides adequate security for us at the hospital. We have demanded that a police camp be set up on the hospital premises,” said Tudu.

The superintendent of the hospital, Rudraraj Iswarari, said he had informed the chief medical officer of health about the incident on Friday and the strike by the doctors.

The subdivisional officer said he had sent a report to the Jalpaiguri district magistrate.

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