Calcutta, July 30: The Assembly witnessed noisy scenes today when Opposition members sought health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra’s resignation over the deaths of budding cricketer Rajnish Patel at SSKM hospital and several children at B.C. Roy Memorial Hospital for Children in Calcutta and in Murshidabad.
Some legislators even walked out, accusing Mishra of “not punishing harshly enough the doctors who were responsible” for Patel’s death. Patel, who was admitted to the hospital with a fractured leg on February 17, died on June 2 after three post-graduate trainee surgeons operated on him thrice. Patel’s father had lodged a complaint with the police charging doctors with negligence.
Replying to a calling attention notice by SUCI MLA Debaprasad Sarkar, Mishra said: “We have taken action against three doctors, including a professor, Dilip Majumdar, an assistant professor, Debabrata Bandopadhyay, and medical officer Sandip Manna, who was in charge of the clinical unit. Majumdar has been suspended while two other doctors have been transferred. The action was taken on the report of the inquiry committee, which found gross negligence on the part of the doctors concerned.’’
Dissatisfied, Opposition members from the Trinamul Congress, the Congress and the SUCI began shouting. “Suspension or transfer is not at all a punishment. The doctors responsible for the death of a young cricketer should get harsh punishment,’’ said Trinamul chief whip Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay.
Even as Mishra tried to pacify them, some of the MLAs rushed to the well of the House and walked out. They returned shortly.
After the recess, Congress and Trinamul members again called for Mishra’s resignation for his alleged failure to check the infant mortality rate in the state. Congress chief whip Abdul Mannan described the minister as “arrogant and heartless”.
“After the deaths at B.C. Roy hospital, the minister had said it was a normal incident. After the deaths in Murshidabad, the minister said it was nothing abnormal. How many more deaths will be required for the minister to realise that the situation is abnormal'” he asked. Trinamul’s Saugata Roy echoed Mannan and asked Mishra to step down.
Mishra, however, maintained that the child mortality rate was coming down.
Workers of Wimco — a match factory at Dakshinewsar — have called a strike since Tuesday and are not attending work, the labour department said.
Labour minister Mohammed Amin said two unions had written to him asking for intervention as the management had reportedly decided to retrench some workers.
The additional labour commissioner will discuss the matter with the management and unions on Thursday.