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Scowls over suspensions

Six days after the government found six junior doctors guilty of assault on a patient’s kin and members of the media at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, some officials of the college council at the troublespot have questioned the “fairness” of the punitive measure.

The council members at the hospital told an inquiry team, comprising senior Indian Medical Association (IMA) functionaries and the Medical Service Centre, on Tuesday that “the government had not taken them into confidence” and had not explained on what basis the “guilty” doctors had been identified.

The first independent inquiry team tried to piece together the circumstances under which the six doctors, including four interns and two house-staff members, were found guilty of the trouble that broke out on the night of November 1, after the death of 72-year-old Nityogopal Banik, in the emergency wing.

The government announced on November 5 that six junior doctors — four interns (three of them members of the Democratic Students’ Organisation), two junior doctors (who left the SFI recently) and a student — were guilty of perpetrating violence on the campus. Four interns were suspended and the two house-staff members ordered to leave the hospital.

After Tuesday’s inquiry, Subhas Chakraborty, chairman of the inquiry team and a senior IMA functionary, said: “Some of the college council members were not only surprised by the decision, but also dismayed that doctors owing allegiance to one particular party were singled out for such harsh punishment.”

Some council members even told the inquiry team they were planning to write to the government questioning the punitive procedure. Later on Tuesday, members of the Democratic Students’ Organisation and the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad held a protest meeting against the “illegal suspension” of the junior doctors.

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