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3 suspended for missing patient

The superintendent and two staff members of BN Bose Subdivisional Hospital, Barrackpore, have been suspended after a woman patient disappeared from the hospital on August 11 and was found two days later on Kalyani Expressway.

The health department has placed hospital superintendent Mridul Ghosh, a ward master and a sister-in-charge of the nursing staff under suspension, charging them with negligence for the disappearance of Bani Sharma, 42, a resident of Shyamnagar in North 24-Parganas.

She had been admitted to the hospital earlier that day. “She went missing in the afternoon,” said a health official.

The woman was found loitering along the Kalyani Expressway near Titagarh in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday. Police brought her back to the hospital and she was discharged a few hours later.

Husband Manik Sharma, relatives and neighbours had protested at the hospital. “We wanted to lodge a complaint but the hospital superintendent didn’t allow us to do that. None of the hospital staff co-operated,” Manik had alleged.

Police had to be called to control the situation and based on the family members’ complaint, a probe was initiated.

Dilip Das, an ambulance driver, was arrested in connection with the case. “The patient had left the hospital in his ambulance,” said C. Sudhakar, the deputy commissioner of police, Barrackpore commissionarate.

A three-member probe committee found superintendent Ghosh and two other hospital staff members guilty. “The probe revealed the patient went missing because of their negligence,” junior health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said.