Senior doctors of College of Medicine and JNM Hospital here have decided to set up a parallel outpatient department to examine patients from Monday, but will not issue official prescriptions.
Professor Kaustabh Chakraborty, the head of the psychiatry department at the Kalyani facility, said the senior doctors would treat patients in the parallel OPD from Monday. (But we will not issue official prescriptions. We will write names of medicines and advices on white sheets of paper,” said Chakraborty.
The decision was taken at a meeting on Sunday.
Every day, around 3,000 patients from Nadia, North 24-Parganas and Hooghly district turn up at the OPDs for treatment.
“The situation has become unbearable as the state is not taking any sympathetic approach. That is prolonging the sufferings of the patients. But we cannot remain silent anymore. We will do our duties unofficially from tomorrow (Monday) even though many of us submitted resignations which are pending for approval with the government,” said Chakraborty
Earlier, senior doctors at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital and the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital had set up parallel OPDs.
A doctor at the Kalyani hospital said: “Without assistance of interns, it is not possible for us to run the OPD normally as there is heavy rush. Nevertheless, from Monday, we will try to serve patients through a special arrangement.”
Medical superintendent Avijit Mukherjee has welcomed the decision of the doctors. “This initiative will definitely make the situation better,” Mukherjee said.
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Doctors’ Safety and Rights, an organisation of doctors based in Dhaka, has expressed solidarity with the agitating doctors in Bengal.
A statement signed by Professor Abdul Hasnat Milton, chairman of the organisation, said: “The safety of the doctors has become a great concern in India as well as in Bangladesh in recent times. In this context, reaffirming our commitment towards the safe and non-violent working environment for doctors, FDSR family stands in support of protesting doctors in West Bengal. We further request the Bengal government to take necessary steps for ensuring doctor’s safety at the workplace.”