THE GOLDEN PLATE of Health Services in West Bengal


Guest article by Soumyadeep Bhaumik

“West Bengal witnessed a 4 day strike Of all junior doctors in Kolkata” ” Inhumane face of doctors in West bengal”  has been the staple diet for the media in West Bengal.

Is it not time that we find out what is the cause behind such strikes taking place in all parts of West Bengal. (BSMCH has witnessed a 3 day strike on exactly similar lines in the month of August) The cause is exactly what the Govt takes pride in – West Bengal is a state which provides maximum heath care in the governement sector.But is it health that is provided in state medical colleges or care that is provided???

Its time that the myth that has been built for more than 3 decades be brought down. Here is just a small part of Not Available/Short supply list in what is supposed to be the tertiary health care centre for Bankura, Purulia and parts of Midnapore and Burdwan (in some or in all wards of the hospital):

  1. Inj Adrenaline – used as a life saving drug to stimulate the heart during resuscitation
  2. Inj Hydrocortisone – used as a life saving drug to stimulate the heart during resuscitation
  3. Tab Sorbitate – used to relieve pain in heart attacks
  4. Inj Tramadaol (used to relive pain when ordinary analgesic like diclofenac are not working)
  5. Inj Ethamsylate – used to stop bleeding
  6. Ethicon sutures – used to give stitches
  7. Gloves which are suppposed to be disposable are reused.
  8. Proper Testing in Blood Bank(how else do you explain thallasemic kids of 5 – 8 years turning HIV+ve when it is abundantly clear that they have not recieved Blood from any other hospital)
  9. Plaster of paris bandages – the first line of management in most fractures
  10. Spinocaine – needed for spinal anaesthesia given in operations ranging from hernia to caesarean sections to lower limb surgeries
  11. Spirit – the basic requirement in any dressing
  12. Oxygen cylinders – NEED i explain its utility.
  13. All iv antibiotics other than the first line antibiotics i.e. ceftriaxone, gentamicin, cifran and metrogyl (even these are unavailable at times)
  14. Vials for blood testing.

Why junior doctors are angry?? The situation in government hospital as of now is “no medicine at the supply….beat up the doctor!!!! no lights in the operation theater….beat up the doctor!!!! no vacant beds….beat up the doctor!!!! no neurosurgery dept at a tertiary health center….beat up the doctor!!!! no ventilators in the entire hosptl(with >3000 patients)…beat up the doctor!!!! …bathrooms are filthy….beat up the doctors!!!!”

And who are these doctors getting beaten up?? Its not the VP/VS or the MO/ES or RMO who get beaten up simply becuase of the fact that inspite of drawing fat pay cheques and Non-practising allowances for the major part of the day they are unavalible in govt hospitals. Interns who are not supposed to do any treatment (not even prescribe paracetamol) basically run the hospitals. As it is evident from the stories run by the media for the past few days. In a widely pubicised statement the honourable health Minister has stated that “they are children and we need to address their demands too”. Would anybody answer why “children” run emergency services in tertiary care centres? Why the state can’t even run basic services for even a few days without these “children”? Is the government doing some insane experiment by allowing “children” to play with lives of ppeople? OR does the state not care about the lives of people treated in govt hospitals ONLY BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THEY ARE POOR?

The media has consistently shown poor patients in agony because they have been not been operated? Are junior doctors supposed to do OT’s? Its a great mystery why the media doesn’t probe into any news to the depth… it just intends to strive on sensationalism and superficiality.

Everytime junior doctors are beaten up the govt resorts to the threat “we will recommend to MCI that the interns not be given permanent registration number.” But what will be the reason they cite? Chapter V .14.5..v) of the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 of MCI States that “The intern shall be entrusted with clinical responsibilities under direct supervision of senior medical officer. They shall not be working independently.” If the state govt has supervisors then where are these supervisors when junior doctors go on strike? Can the state government punish someone for not doing something they are not supposed to do? THE TRUTH IS FOR EVERYONE TO SEE – IN THE NAME OF PROVIDING MEDICAL EDUCATION THE STATE JUST USES HALF BAKED COOKIES TO DECORATE THEIR PLATTER.

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"THE GOLDEN PLATE of Health Services in West Bengal" by @bongbuzz