Authorities of the state-run RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata have decided to terminate the services of around 80 house staff doctors who participated in last month’s strike at the hospital.
Normal healthcare services in the hospital were disrupted during the June 7-8 strike organised by around 350 junior doctors — interns, house staffs and postgraduate trainees — to protest the assault of a colleague by relatives of a patient who died due to alleged negligence in treatment.
The striking doctors were demanding adequate security for doctors and immediate arrest of the attackers. The strike was withdrawn after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health portfolio, intervened and the persons who allegedly assaulted the doctor were arrested.
“We will terminate the services of house staff in September when their housestaffship will come up for renewal because they actively participated in the strike,” Parthojit Banerjee, principal of the medical college hospital, told Hindustan Times on Sunday.
“We cannot entertain any kind of cease-work affecting hundreds of patients.”
The authorities are also considering deducting two days’ salary of some junior doctors who led the cease-work.
“We are not aware of any such move. We will chalk out our future plan of action if they terminate the service of any house staff or deduct our salary,” said Supratim Nandi, an intern who actively took part in the strike.
Sources said the hospital’s drastic decision might have the tacit support of the state health department.
On June 8, Subrata Mukherjee, a senior minister in Banerjee’s cabinet, had threatened striking doctors of dire consequences if they did not return to work.