Chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited medicine shops near SSKM Hospital on Thursday evening after receiving complaints that they were turning away customers who had bought some of the prescribed medicines from the fair-price shops on the hospital premises.
Mamata returned to the city from north Bengal (picture top by Sayantan Ghosh shows her leaving Mongpu) in the afternoon and reached Writers’ around 4.30pm. She held a 40-minute meeting with chief secretary Sanjoy Mitra and health secretary Satish Tiwari.
The chief minister left Writers’ around 6.15pm with the chief and heath secretaries and police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha and went to Harish Mukherjee Road, where a number of medicine shops are located.
She visited five shops (in picture above) — Chemists’ Corner, Shukla Medical, Charu Medical, Lily Pharmacy and Roy Medical — and spent about five minutes in each.
She asked those behind the counter whether they were refusing customers. “Apnara shob oshudh thikthak dichhen toh (Are you providing medicines properly)?” she asked in each shop. When the staff replied in the affirmative, Mamata said: “We cannot refuse people. It is our duty to serve them.”
The owner of one of the medicine shops said: “She had received complaints that we are forcing people to buy all medicines on the prescriptions from us. But that is not true.”
Mamata returned to Writers’ around 7.45pm and had a brief meeting with the chief secretary and the home secretary before leaving for the day.