Subrata Maitra dead

Suchitra Sen and Mamata Banerjee were among his patients but Subrata Maitra always had time for the poorest of the poor.

By Our Bureau
  • Published 18.03.16
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Subrata Maitra

Suchitra Sen and Mamata Banerjee were among his patients but Subrata Maitra always had time for the poorest of the poor.

The 59-year-old critical care expert died on Thursday. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2014. Maitra was shifted to Belle Vue Clinic, with which he was associated for long, on Monday night and had been in a coma since. He died at 3.03pm following multi-organ failure.

Maitra is survived by his parents, wife, two sons and a daughter-in-law.

The doctor, known as much for his unerring sense of diagnosis as for his ever-helpful disposition, had spent much of the past five years trying to improve the ailing state-run health care system in Bengal. He used to helm the expert committee on health formed by the chief minister.

Some of his recommendations that the government has accepted are observation beds in emergency wards and intensive care units in rural hospitals.

"He was an outstanding professional, a wonderful gentleman and a great personal friend. He had helped our health department with his valuable guidance in many areas...," Mamata wrote on Facebook.

For many, Maitra was "Suchitra Sen's doctor". He started treating the reclusive screen idol in December 2007. In an article in Metro, a day after Sen died on January 17, 2014, Maitra had written: "She had become like a relative to me."

The good doctor was himself like a relative to hundreds of poor people in the Sunderbans, where he would go on weekends along with a team of doctors and basic diagnostic equipment.

Maitra had helped set up a hospital - Ranganathananda Gramin Swastha Seva Kendra - in Sandeshkhali block of the Sunderbans. The Belur Math disciple had distributed medicines, food and water to Sunderbans villagers after cyclone Aila ravaged the islands in May 2009.

A doctor and a gentleman is how he will be remembered.