THE POSTGRADUATE students of the Radiotherapy Department at Gandhi Medical College (GMC), who are up in arms against the hospital administration and the state government for neglecting the welfare of the patients and the medicos, have got support from various outside quarters.
At a press conference on Sunday, former chairman of the MP Human Rights Commission Justice R D Shukla, president of Senior Citizens’ Forum S K Saraswat, oncologist Dr Shyam Agrawal and regional director of central region office of voluntary organisation Global Care Concern of India Madhuri Biswas all came out in support of the students. They demanded that the government take steps to bail out the department and get it recognition from the Medical Council of India, besides ensuring adequate facilities for the poor cancer patients.
Intensifying their agitation that was till now restricted to sporting black badges on work, the six PG students of the department will take two-day mass casual leave on October 16 and 17 to press their demands, they told the media persons.
They are also trying to rope in the junior doctors of other departments at GMC as well as those of other medical colleges in their agitation.
The PG students said that since its establishment in 1994, the Radiotherapy Department has not been able to get the MCI recognition and due to this the PGs who have passed out cannot get government jobs. Besides lack of basic facilities, including separate ward for the cancer patients, is causing severe hardship to the patients. But the college authorities and the state government are paying no attention although the issue has been brought to their notice time and again, they said.
The students further alleged that the state government had been diverting grants meant for the department to private hospitals. They said that following a PIL by the students, the Jabalpur High Court has ordered a stay on release of any further grant by the government to the private institutions.
JNCH ‘BETRAYAL’: The students pointed out that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the GMC and the Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (JNCH) and countersigned by the state medical education department in 1998, providing for partnership between the two institutes. The students alleged that the JNCH authorities have gone back on their words and do not allow the facilities as promised to the patients or the students. The infrastructure at the JNCH could be used to seek MCI recognition for the Radiotherapy Department, but no steps have been taken in this direction despite repeated efforts.
The fact that the Rs 8-crore linear accelerator machine was diverted to the JNCH by the government although a special Rs one-crore room was constructed at GMC also shows the partial attitude of the government, they said.