The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Govt takes a knock in Shah diagnosis

Calcutta, Jan. 28: Governor Viren J. Shah today reminded doctors that “degrees and professional expertise at their command would be futile and meaningless” till they developed a “humane approach, compassion and caring attitude towards patients”.

Speaking at a programme on the 170th foundation day of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, Shah did not spare the government either. “There is acute shortage of basic infrastructure… One hears that good equipment procured in various health centres and hospitals are not optimally utilised due to delay in installation or lack of maintenance, they become inoperative. This needs to be seriously looked into,” Shah said in the presence of health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, director of medical education C.R. Maiti and a host of other senior officials.

Addressing the gathering of mostly doctors, the governor said: “Since the medical profession and (the) state of health infrastructure have been in the news for (the) wrong reasons, it is up to the medical fraternity to restore the faith of common people.”

Shah also hauled up doctors in the districts for not turning up regularly at health centres. “The doctors say they do not have infrastructure and complain about shortage of space and other amenities…. I don’t know whether that is so, but those are the reasons advanced for doctors not being available at health centres.”

Shah urged doctors to be sincere while discharging duty. “Yes, to err is human. Judges also commit errors. However, the margin of error for a doctor should be the barest minimum. A kind word of advice from you can change the life of a patient,” the governor said.

Earlier, the health minister said Writers’ is planning to give more autonomy to the medical college hospitals. “Because of financial reasons, the work has been delayed, but decentralisation and greater autonomy to medical colleges are on top of our agenda,” Mishra said. He added that the government is keen to improve the quality of medical education.

The governor inaugurated a thalassaemia control programme from the recently upgraded Institute of Haematology at the medical college.

The Calcutta Medical College and Hospital and NRS Medical College and Hospital will be part of the programme in the city. Burdwan Medical College and Hospital and the district hospital in Midnapore will pilot the project there.

The state has seen a spurt in thalassaemia cases in the past few years. The percentage of carriers in Calcutta is about 15. It is 11 per cent in the two Midnapores and the two 24-Parganas.

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