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Go-slow blame on blood unit staff

Siliguri, Feb. 11: The director of the blood bank in the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital today brought to the notice of the chairman of an Assembly committee the “go-slow” attitude adopted by some technicians since November, which has been hampering work in the unit.

Shital Kumar Sardar, a Trinamul Congress MLA and the chairman of the Assembly standing committee on petitions, was about to leave the NBMCH premises after inspecting the recently inaugurated thalassaemia control unit and the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre when Mridumoy Das, the director, approached him.

“I was heckled by a few technicians at the RBTC on November 10 after I refused to grant leave which were not due to them. Five permanent technicians had confined me to my office and harassed me mentally and physically. I submitted a complaint to the college authorities. An inquiry was conducted and its report was submitted to the principal a month ago, but its findings have not yet been announced,” Das told Sardar.

The authorities should take action based on the report, Das said. “If I am at fault according to the findings, I should be punished. But if the fault lies with the technicians, they should be penalised as well. The delay (in taking action) by the college authorities is hampering work at the RBTC because the technicians are not cooperating with us.”

According to sources at the RBTC, the technicians adopted the go-slow approach since the incident, putting an extra workload on the rest of the staff.

“We are supposed to conduct tests of around 80 to 90 blood units per day and log in the samples in the computer for record. These technicians deliberately work slowly or refuse to log in the data. As a result, other employees at the blood bank have to bear the extra workload. We are also not able to provide with the blood required to the patients on time,” a source said.

The Trinamul MLA expressed his disapproval of the situation and said he would raise the matter in the Assembly. “If this is the situation at the RBTC, it is not good. I will inquire into the matter and, if needed, I will raise it in the Assembly,” Sardar said.

The five-member team headed by Sardar was on a visit to the thalassaemia control unit at the NBMCH and in Cooch Behar. The other members were Abani Roy (CPM), K.D. Ghosh (CPM), Abul Hasnat (RSP) and Shiv Prasad Bandhopadhyay (CPM).

Sardar said: “The high performance liquid chromatography machine (used for screening thalassaemia) was sent here on August but was put to use only last month. When I questioned the officials about the delay, they could not answer satisfactorily.”

Doctors at the pathology department spoke of some “technical problems” that led to the delay in installing the machine. “The machine was brought in August but it had some technical problems which needed to be solved,” a doctor said.

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