Millennium Post

Doctors in pvt hospitals stay away from OPD work

Kolkata: Patients visiting the Out Patient Departments (OPD) of various private hospitals in the city were immensely inconvenienced as the doctors working there in those hospitals joined a "cease work" to protest against an incident of hooliganism that took place at the Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) recently.
The "cease work" of the OPD doctors in the private hospitals is in violation of an order of the Supreme Court. It was learnt that doctors from around 52 private hospitals in the city and adjoining areas did not join duties and formed a body called the United Doctors' Voice of Bengal.
It was also learnt that the state Health department may ask the private hospital authorities to explain as to why had they not informed them about the doctors' agitation that has led to a virtual collapse of the entire health services at the OPDs. Hundreds of patients, many of whom coming from the districts, could not consult the doctors at the OPDs with whom they had taken prior appointments. They had to return home without being treated.
The doctors, under the banner of United Doctors' Voice of Bengal, alleged that they were fed up with the repeated incidents of hooliganism and violence in the hospitals. All the OPDs of various private hospitals remained shut on Saturday.
A patient's kin refused to pay more than Rs 8,000 after being provided with a bill of Rs 75,000 by the CMRI hospital.
The hospital authorities said that the patient had stayed at the hospital for 20 days when he underwent critical surgeries. They also alleged that the patient's family members brought goons to the hospital who abused and threatened doctors. The incident triggered huge resentment among the doctors at the hospital.
Following the incident, doctors of CMRI decided not to treat any patient on Friday. Doctors of other private hospitals including Kothari Medical Centre, B M Birla Heart Research Centre, Belle Vue Clinic, Medica Superspecialty Hospital and some others joined the cease work at the OPDs to express solidarity with their colleagues.
As a result of this, patients who had prior appointments at the OPDs, were denied treatment. The OPDs did not function. However, the emergency departments of these hospitals functioned normally.
The doctors under the recently formed forum have alleged that in the last few months, around 33 incidents of violence against doctors have been reported.
They also said that they would join their works at the OPDs from Sunday. They also threatened for a protest demonstration on September 1 if the accused who came and threatened the doctors at CMRI is not arrested.
It may be mentioned here that some of the private hospitals in the city including Ruby Hospital, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Peerless Hospital, Narayana Health units functioned normally on Saturday.
A senior official of the state Health department said that emergency health services cannot be hampered in this manner. It is in contrary to the Clinical Establishment rule. An explanation would be sought from the private hospitals in this regard.
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