The Telegraph
Friday , June 8 , 2012
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CIMA Gallary

Docs continue ceasework

The junior doctors at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital continued their ceasework for the second day on Thursday to protest police “inaction” after a house staff was assaulted by a mob in connection with the death of an 80-year-old patient.

About 300 interns, house staff and postgraduate trainees joined the protest, which has made the 1,400 patients admitted to the hospital and visitors to the outdoor wards suffer.

Many patients were referred to the four other medical colleges and hospitals in Calcutta as the authorities turned to senior doctors and visiting faculty and cancelled leaves to cope with the situation.

“How can we work when we are so insecure? Fifty to 60 people had forced their way into the medicine ward on the fifth floor after the elderly patient died and beat up a house staff brutally despite he having done his best. They even dragged the house staff to the elevator and tried to strangle him with his stethoscope before taking him downstairs and beating him up again,” said an intern.

According to junior doctors, Belgachhia resident Mohammad Saheb Jaan, the elderly patient, had brain tumour, an ischaemic heart and diabetes and had been treated at the hospital before. He was having convulsions when he was brought in on Wednesday. House staff Suman Pal Chowdhury attended to the patient “immediately, following the protocol” but he could not be saved.

The junior doctors are demanding the arrest of the assaulters under non-bailable sections, “adequate and proactive security”, women security personnel and availability of life-saving drugs in the emergency ward.

“We have been in talks with police. It may not be possible to deploy as many security personnel as the junior doctors want. We want the accused to be arrested,” said Siddhartha Neogi, the deputy superintendent of the hospital.

Chandrima Bhattacharya, the minister of state for health, said efforts were on to convince the junior doctors to rejoin duty.