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Surgeon leaves after ‘threat’

Balurghat, Aug. 8: A surgeon left the Balurghat district hospital on Wednesday citing security reasons after he was allegedly threatened by the relatives of a patient.

The surgical unit at the district hospital that has three sanctioned posts is being run by only one doctor now.

Rabiul Hassan was shifted to Balurghat on July 15 from Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital. On Wednesday, he submitted a letter to the superintendent and left on grounds of security.

Sources said on Saturday, Hassan had an altercation with a visitor who was sitting and eating on a patient’s bed in the surgical ward. When the doctor asked the visitor not to eat in the ward, an argument ensued and the patient’s relative and some others threatened the surgeon.

“Rabiul Hassan was threatened by the relatives of a patient. He left after submitting a letter citing security reasons,” said Asit Dewan, the hospital superintendent.

The surgical ward of the district hospital has three sanctioned posts and one was vacant for over six months.

Of the two surgeons, Ajit Mallik has been on leave since May and Swapan Biswas fell ill in early July.

Biswas joined duty later last month.

“The surgical department became almost defunct when one doctor fell ill and the other went on leave. To tackle the problem, we got Hassan. But he left on Wednesday. I have assured him of security. We have intimated the administration. We expect Hassan to join soon,” said Kajal Kumar mandal, chief medical officer of health, South Dinajpur.

On an average, 700-750 patients visit the 316-bed hospital everyday.

“There is shortage of doctors in almost all departments. New units are being opened but the health department is not posting doctors there. We are managing all departments with the existing staff. The surgical ward is possibly the worst hit. One doctor has not joined work even after repeated requests. We have heard he is working in a private hospital in Malda. But no action has been taken against him ,” said a doctor.