Security or ceasework was the cry from a section of doctors and nurses at SSKM Hospital on Friday, following an alleged assault on some medical staff “by outsiders” protesting the death of a patient in the endocrine ward.
The mob had forced its way into the ward and ransacked it, alleging that the patient had died due to negligence late on Thursday.
“If the authorities fail to provide security during working hours, we will be forced to cease work and disrupt the normal functioning of the hospital,” threatened some doctors and nurses on Friday.
Officials said trouble in the endocrine ward broke out around 10 pm on Thursday, following the death of Samir Chandra Som. The 45-year-old had been admitted earlier in the day after having suffered cerebral haemorrhage.
The protesters, allegedly led by a doctor from the Tollygunge area, went on the rampage for nearly 40 minutes.
They smashed furniture and windowpanes, besides destroying some important documents, before roughing up some doctors and nurses.
“It was sheer negligence on part of the doctors and nurses that caused the untimely death of the patient,” alleged some relatives of Som.
Hospital superintendent Deb Dwaipayan Chattopadhyay said late on Friday that he had taken note of the “ugly incident”, which he would report to the health department at Writers’ Buildings.
“We demand appropriate action against those responsible for misbehaving with the doctors and nurses on duty,” said Chattopadhyay, adding that an official complaint on behalf of the hospital staff would be lodged with the Bhowanipore police station on Saturday.
Condemning the attack on the hospital staff, Motilal Giri of the Medical Service Centre demanded “exemplary punishment” of those involved in Thursday night’s assault. “The attackers must be punished immediately if such incidents are to be checked,” said Giri.
Nirmal Maji, Trinamul Congress secretary and a key member of the party-controlled doctors’ cell, said a team would visit SSKM Hospital on Saturday and lodge a complaint with the authorities.