The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Medicos protest hospital malaise

After medical students, it was the turn of the doctors to protest against extremely poor working conditions at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.

Several doctors, under the banner of the Association of Health Services Doctors’ (AHSD), on Saturday staged a sit-in to protest the “lack of facilities” for doctors and patients in the hospital. The members later met principal Indrajeet Roy and submitted a memorandum.

“The government had of late promised largescale reforms in the health sector, but nothing has yet been done at RG Kar, causing countless problems to doctors and patients. We have, therefore, decided to take it upon ourselves to do something about it,” said Kajal Krishna Banik of AHSD.

At present, the doctors at RG Kar, having no proper accommodation, are being forced to put up outside the hospital as the dilapidated official quarters for doctors were razed to the ground sometime back. Now in case of any emergency, doctors have to be summoned from their homes.

An operation theatre in the surgical building has not been repaired, despite several requests made by the doctors, AHSD members alleged.

The agitating doctors also raised their voices against the delay in procuring several life-saving equipment which were supposed to reach various departments. “The machines for conducting laparoscopy, bronchoscopy and an auto-analyser were supposed to have reached us several months ago,” said Banik.

Even carbon dioxide cylinders needed for laparoscopic surgeries were not supplied on time, alleged doctors. They further alleged that several life-saving machines have not been repaired for several months. A Rs 35-lakh machine for detecting pancreatic diseases has been out of order for the past few years.

After the five dilapidated buildings were razed, the main outdoor department was shifted to the main building, which doctors and the local police feel is a security threat since several criminals, too, get admitted to the hospital. The police had taken up the issue with the hospital authorities but nothing was done, sources said.

The AHSD members have decided to wait for the government’s response before launching a more intense agitation. Later, the principal said he had discussed the issues raised by the doctors with the health department. “I have requested them to look into the problems as soon as possible,” he added.

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