The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Medicare mess slur on doctors
- Iron fist against neglect, Buddha assures Rajnis kin

Blame the men, not the machines, for the mess that passes off as medicare in Bengal.

A section of government doctors is insensitive to the needs of the ailing, despite being provided the requisite medical equipment and infrastructure, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told the bereaved parents of Rajnis Patel at Writers’ Buildings on Wednesday evening. The teenaged cricketer had fallen victim to medical negligence and died earlier this year at SSKM Hospital.

“I am an only son of my parents and I can understand your grief,” the chief minister is learnt to have told Manoj and Munni Patel, when they met him in his chamber.

After admitting to Rajnis’ parents that he was “disappointed” with the performance of some healthcare personnel in state-run hospitals, the chief minister emerged from his chamber to announce that “stern action” would be taken against the doctors found guilty of negligence in the case. “The departmental inquiry is over and police have also submitted their chargesheet. The government will now ensure that all those involved in his treatment are punished,” said Bhattacharjee.

Manoj and Munni Patel appealed to the Bhattacharjee government to cancel the registration of the guilty doctors. “The chief minister said he would consider our appeal and do whatever is needed to send a strong message to doctors — that laxity will no longer be tolerated,” Manoj Patel, who runs a small roadside saloon in Bhowanipore, later told Metro. Bhattacharjee assured them that, of late, his government had been taking stern steps against negligent doctors in various cases.

The 19-year-old cricketer, who was operated upon five times, mostly by post-graduate trainees, died in the orthopaedic ward of SSKM Hospital on June 1, nearly four months after he was admitted there.

After a government inquiry, orthopaedic surgeon D.K. Majumdar was suspended and the junior doctors censured for their action. Police submitted a chargesheet against five doctors last week, and arrested three of them before they were released on bail. Surgeon Majumdar had managed to obtain anticipatory bail.

During their 10-minute meeting with Bhattacharjee, Rajnis’ parents also brought to his notice how the Medical Council of India, with which they had lodged a complaint, hadn’t called them for a hearing yet.

Narrating how Rajnis had been selected to play a tournament in England just before he got injured and ended up in hospital, mother Munni said: “Kahan jana tha, lekin doctor usse kahan bhej diya (He was to go somewhere else, but look where the doctors sent him).”

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