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Buddha bitter pill for hospital staff

Barely a week after health minister Surya Kanta Mishra criticised hospital unions for “posing hindrances” to healthcare delivery in the state, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee issued a stern warning to “those creating problems in hospitals” on Saturday.

“We shall throw out these trouble-mongers from the hospitals if they indulge in unruly behaviour,” Bhattacharjee said, while addressing a meeting of party workers at Jadavpur. A few months ago, Bhattacharjee had made a similar comment against government doctors, warning that they would be sacked for dereliction of duty. However, he later apologised as doctors strongly reacted to the statement.

Referring to the prevailing situation in government hospitals, the chief minister said: “It is unfortunate that strays are found roaming in wards and cabins. What’s worse, people spit on the hospital premises, with scant regard for hygiene. We cannot allow all this at a time when we are determined to bring in reforms in healthcare management.”

The chief minister had recently voiced his concern over the stand-off between the staff and the management of AMRI-Apollo Hospital over payment of bonus. The admission of emergency patients had remained suspended in the hospital for a couple of days. Sources said reforms in healthcare top Bhattacharjee’s agenda.

On Saturday, he also came down heavily on primary teachers who shirk their duty on the pretext of attending party meetings. “I have information that teachers in some primary schools often stay away from classes on the plea of attending party meetings and processions. We have to deal with such recalcitrant teachers firmly. They should be identified,” he warned.

Inaugurating the Institute of Technology and Management at Dinabandhu Andrews College in Garia on Saturday evening, the chief minister unveiled plans to increase the number of management seats in the wake of rapid industrialisation in the state. “Fresh opportunities are coming up in management and IT due to industrial rejuvenation in Bengal,” he added.

Altogether 95 students have taken admission to the institute’s Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Computer Application.

nThrough children’s lenses: The 10 best photographs, from a collection of snaps taken by children of sex workers, were given prizes at the University Institute Hall on Friday. The project is being partly funded by Unicef.

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