KOLKATA:As the country celebrated National Doctors’ Day on Wednesday, hundreds of physicians and surgeons are on a warpath against the TMC Government.
They allege humiliation for not toeing the line of the TMC-affiliated Progressive Doctors’ Association (PDA) and for not succumbing to the diktats of state Medical Council president and TMC legislator Nirmal Majhi. Also a physician, Majhi is considered close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
At least 250 doctors of the state health service have submitted their resignation to the Directorate of Health Services at Swasthya Bhawan in Salt Lake.
“Doctors leaving government service is nothing new. It was there during the Left Front regime too. But the numbers were not so high... That is why the service rules for government doctors were amended last year and the VRS option removed. Even then, a large section of senior doctors are willing to forfeit their retirement benefits and quit, fed up with punishment transfers,” an administrative department official said.
The most notable of cases was that of Arun Singh, a renowned neo-natal specialist. The Union Government had sought his services, but Mamata refused to let him go. He was then transferred to Sagar Datta Medical College and Hospitals in Kamarhati, where no paediatric department existed. He refused to join there and is currently a medical adviser to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, after a brief stint at the Centre. The most recent case was that of Pradip Mitra, the SSKM Hospital director who was sent on “punishment posting” after he disallowed the dialysis of a pet dog belonging to Majhi’s relative. When he opted for VRS, service rules were cited. After he threatened to move court, he was put on “compulsory wait list” without any work or even a chamber at the Swasthya Bhawan.
Many top specialists in orthopaedics, gynaecology and neurology of leading state-owned medical colleges and hospitals are on leave. All of them have been transferred to hospitals in remote areas and once their leave periods ended, they plan to put in their papers.
Majhi’s alleged attempt to cancel the registration of Shyamapada Gharai, a neuro surgeon who once headed the Bangur Institute of Neurology but was suspended by Mamata.