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Civilisation

Inside the Doctors’ Protest of Bengal

The following Article is sent to us by a protester in Kolkata. She is a medical student. The views expressed in this article are solely of the writer and not of the organization.

A series of events took place on 10th June which sprouted a doubt among doctors in the state of West Bengal:

‘How safe is our work environment? 

Will the people we are saving today become bloodthirsty and blame us for the things that are not under our control?

On the night of 10th June, a patient was brought to General Emergency at NRS Medical College, Kolkata, with his condition already deteriorating. So, a life-saving IV drug was injected as last resort. But the patient could not be saved. 

Is it even worth to spend half of your life learning just to get beaten up by some hooligans because you didn’t meet up to their standards of delivering your services?’

Nobody can play God when your death is predestined. 

A little while later, two trucks loaded with approximately 200 people came accusing the doctor of negligence. You may ask how did they get inside? No guards or police on duty questioned about why two trucks are unloading people? The angry mob threw stones and one of them threw a brick which directly hit the head of Dr Paribaha Mukherjee resulting in a depressed fracture over frontal bone. Two doctors were severely injured and were fighting for their breath. The saviours lay helplessly assaulted by the people who gave them the status of a God. 

But this is not the first time a doctor has been assaulted inside the perimeter of his sanctuary, his safe place. There are enough gruesome incidents to cite which will last long in every doctor’s memory. In 2017, a female intern was assaulted during her night duty. Before that a doctor was assaulted in trauma which lead to a kidney injury. 

While these two doctors were fighting for their lives, interns and PGTs from all the other colleges gathered up in NRSMCH and stayed up till late to show their solidarity with peaceful demonstration against the barbaric acts that the doctors face on daily basis. Even after that the work at hospitals didn’t stop, senior doctors took over to treat the emergency patients in General Emergency. 

In the next 48 hours, while doctors were sitting in scorching heat throughout the day and spending sleepless nights to demand the justice they deserve, a doctor became nearly blind. Doctors are threatened with acid, doctors are being stone pelted, news of arson in one of the colleges can be heard. Doctors who were standing up to fight for their security became a target once again of the same situation.  (To read more the situation, click here.)

Do we hear that the government is coming to our rescue?

No.

Do we hear that government is sending forces to save us from the angry mob?

No.

When the Honourable Chief Minister finally visited one of the hospitals, she had many things to say but not even one regarding the logical solution for all of this mess. Our demands are simple and clear but not once it was part of her speech, not once she gave them importance. 

There is no support from government at all whatsoever. 

When she gave the ultimatum, the senior doctors who always supported and stood up for the junior doctors finally had their fill after hearing the hateful talks, so many senior doctors started resigning from their posts. When you are called an ‘outsider’ after giving so many years in the service, it does hit you hard. 

No doctor sees religion, status, caste or patient’s political background to treat them. 

If you ask us, don’t we sympathize with the ones suffering? 

We have suffered always but we have hardly complained.

But now, enough is enough. 

“The hospital was our home; the hospital was our safe place, our sanctuary. I love it here. Correction: I loved it there.”

Here are the demands raised by the protesters:

Attaching Photos of the Protests:

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