Injured junior doctor's cousin says state money not needed for Paribaha's treatment

Government spends Rs 25 lakh on every student to make them doctors, chief minister Mamata had said at SSKM Hospital on Thursday

  • Published 16.06.19, 6:30 AM
  • Updated 16.06.19, 6:30 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Sanjit Chatterjee, cousin of injured junior doctor Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, addresses junior doctors at NRS hospital on Saturday. Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

Injured NRS hospital junior doctor Paribaha Mukhopadhyay’s cousin told agitating junior doctors at the hospital on Saturday that he did not want the government to bear Mukhopadhyay’s treatment cost.

Sanjit Chatterjee, a paediatrician in Howrah’s Domjur and a former student of NRS, was speaking to the doctors at the hospital in the morning. He said former students would raise money for the treatment.

He said the Rs 25 lakh government spends on medical students was the “taxpayers’ money and not something that the chief minister spends from her personal coffers”.

“The chief minister is giving the impression that she is funding medical students’ education, which is highly objectionable. The fund is actually the taxpayers’ money,” Chatterjee, who is in his 50s, said.

The government spends Rs 25 lakh on every student to make them doctors, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said at SSKM Hospital on Thursday afternoon. “When they become doctors, in two-three years, they leave.... They leave after internship, for private hospitals or outside.”

The chief minister has no right to ask doctors to vacate hostels — something she had touched upon at SSKM — Chatterjee said.

“Why is she asking students to vacate hostels? It is an illogical statement. It is public money and the chief minister has not made the hostel from her own personal money,” he said. “The attitude is wrong and the chief minister must come here and meet the striking doctors and find a way out. The head of the state should be more compassionate.”

Chatterjee said his cousin’s injury hadn’t resulted from a one-off attack. Doctors are “repeatedly attacked”, he said. “The agitation is a reflection of the pent-up anger in the doctor community because of repeated assaults.”

He thanked the doctors on strike for staging such a movement that has created “a noise across the country and also in the international circuit”. “It is the fifth day of the strike; why is the chief minister taking so much time to attend to the matter?”

Absence of infrastructure forces junior doctors to work under a lot of pressure, Chatterjee said. “Should doctors wear helmets to protect themselves? Are we creating medical infrastructure in our hospitals or only renovating buildings?”

Chatterjee was present at the meeting of junior doctors at the hospital’s academic hall to decide on meeting Mamata at Nabanna in the evening.