Published: 11th June 2019
Our lives are at stake every minute we're on duty: Why med students, doctors in WB are on strike after the NRS incident
The AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association appealed to all doctors in West Bengal to suspend all activities till the perpetrators are arrested and the demands met
More than 500 junior doctors and interns sat in protest in front of the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College & Hospital (NRSMC&H) in Kolkata on Tuesday with demands for better security for the young doctors. The hospital along with major medical college and hospitals in West Bengal remained shut as junior doctors from across the state joined the protest after an intern, Dr Paribaha Mukhopaddhyay, was critically injured in a scuffle that broke out after an 85-year-old patient expired around 6.30 pm on Monday. The Resident Doctors' Association of AIIMS has also supported the protest and said that they are 'grieved and enraged' because of the incident. They also appealed to all doctors in West Bengal to suspend all activities till the perpetrators are arrested and the demands met.
"Two interns treating the patient in question treated him perfectly and provided the correct drugs according to Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines. But the patient expired anyway," said Ashani Kumar Ain, a third-year student of the institute. "The patient's relatives started a commotion. Fifteen of them entered the Medicine Ward where a maximum of two are allowed. They assaulted interns who were treating other patients at that time," he added. A team from the Entally police station intervened soon. But the issue was not resolved.
The students alleged that the patient's kin came back late at night with two truckloads of people along with a man who claimed to be an Imam and the patient's son. "When people from the hostel gathered the Imam said that he did not know the patient and out of nowhere they started assaulting an intern and eventually started pelting bricks at the students gathered there. Paribaha was hit on his forehead. At first, it seemed to be a deep cut and his wound was stitched. But when he was laid down for a scan he suddenly went into repeated convulsions," added Ashani.
Paribaha has suffered a frontal bone depressed comminuted fracture and he went into a coma for a while. A CT scan showed pneumocephalus. "He was promptly shifted to the Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata and an emergency craniotomy done. The operation was successful and he is out of comatose state but is still in critical care," said the medical student.
The students who are protesting have a single agenda — they want the Health Department to provide better security for the junior doctors. The students have spoken to the State's Health Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya who did not provide any assurance to increase security in any way. the students also claimed that the college authorities are in their support along with medical students and interns across the state. "I support this protest because it's the only way for a doctor to survive in any government hospital in India. There is the least security for the doctors on duty and our lives are at stake every minute we're on duty," said Dr Kashif Ahmed, an intern at a state medical college. The students say that they will not budge from their protest at any cost unless their demands are met.