Millennium Post

Two more patients die as junior doctors continue stir for 5th day

Kolkata: An unyielding mentality of junior doctors to resume health services at various government-run medical colleges and hospitals continues to claim the lives of patients in the state complicating the situation further.

The cease-work by the junior doctors at various hospitals, including the NRS Medical College and Hospital, entered the fifth day on Saturday with no logical conclusion of the impasse in sight despite all assurances by the state government on security revamp in all the hospitals. The rising death toll in the hospitals due to the unavailability of treatment is certainly not a good endorsement for the doctors whose job is to save lives.

Two patients, including a three-day-old infant, died in two separate incidents in the state on Saturday taking the toll to five so far. The family members of the deceased alleged that the patients died due to want of treatment caused by the prolonged strike of the junior doctors. The first incident occurred at Midnapore Medical College and Hospital on Saturday morning when a newborn baby boy died.

It was learnt that one Monowara Begum, a resident of Midnpaore town, was taken to the hospital last Thursday after she had labour pain. On the same day, the woman gave birth to a boy child. The family members of the victim alleged that the health condition of the baby deteriorated fast and he was put under ventilation. The infant died at the hospital on Saturday morning. The family members alleged that the baby died as there was no treatment available due to the cease-work by the junior doctors. The mother along with other family members sat in a demonstration with the dead child outside the Emergency ward just opposite the place where the junior doctors have been conducting a sit-in.

Begum broke down in tears and asked the junior doctors to return her baby. She also held the striking doctors responsible for the baby's death. Another family member of the deceased infant alleged: "The baby had been denied adequate treatment for the past three days. The doctors are on strike. Are they not ashamed to call themselves doctors." The demonstration was later lifted by the family members following police intervention.

In a similar incident, the family members of a 42-year-old woman who died at NRS Medical College and Hospital alleged that the strike has led to the death of the patient. The victim, Sulata Biswas, was admitted to the hospital a week ago. A resident of Basirhat in North 24-Parganas, Biswas had been suffering from cancer in her food pipe. She needed an emergency operation. The family members alleged that the operation could not be performed due to the ongoing strike of the junior doctors. "When we urged the doctors to treat the patient, some of the agitating junior doctors accused us of beating them up. We clarified that we were not involved in any incident of assault on doctors. We came here only for treatment. We were again told that the patient would not be treated as the junior doctors had been assaulted," a relative of the victim said.

Many other patients were also inconvenienced at NRS. One Shipra Biswas brought her three-year-old son to the hospital for removing plaster on his hand.

The victim had suffered a fracture after falling from a tree. There was no doctor at the hospital to attend to him. It may be mentioned that three patients earlier died in different hospitals due to the cease-work of junior doctors.

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