Security assurance to zero tolerance policy: How impasse between striking Bengal doctors and Mamata Banerjee ended
The chief minister also reiterated that the five persons, who were arrested after Monday night’s violence, were not granted bail by court and the government was determined to handle the case sternly.Updated: Jun 18, 2019 11:11 IST
Death of patients, identified as the root cause of violence in state-run hospitals, was discussed at length during West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with the agitating doctors on Monday.
Declaring a “zero tolerance” policy in cases of assault on doctors and hospital staff, Banerjee asked senior Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service officers present at the meeting to chalk out a strategy to identify and punish offenders. She also asked them to start a campaign to make common people aware of the consequences of such attacks.
The junior doctors at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata called off their strike after the meeting with the CM.
Watch | Bengal doctors call off strike after meeting with Mamata Banerjee
Banerjee also proposed that doctors should not be breaking the news of a patient’s death in front of the family.
“Specially trained personnel, and not doctors, should break the news of death before a patient’s relatives. They may not be people with a medical background but should be adequately briefed by the doctors,” said Banerjee.
“Doctors are extremely busy with treating patients and don’t have the time and mental frame to ensure empathetic communication with the patients’ families. Arguments trigger tension,” she said.
“I will ask my officers to see whether it is possible to employ a third person to communicate with the families. One has to realise that when a mother loses her child she is not in the right frame of mind. It is not possible for doctors, who are extremely busy, to properly make these communications,” she said.
Suggestions Banerjee and the doctors made during the meeting included limiting the number of persons accompanying a patient to two, installing collapsible gates at the entrance to emergency departments and setting up alarm systems in all hospitals.
“Why should a crowd accompany a patient? We should allow only two relatives to take the patients for tests or buy medicines,” said Banerjee.
She said unchecked entry of people to emergency departments cannot be allowed when Archisman Bhattacharya, one of the agitating doctors of NRS Medical College and Hospital said, “Beating up doctors has turned into an act of daring, almost a chivalry.”
The chief minister also reiterated that the five persons, who were arrested after Monday night’s violence, were not granted bail by court and the government was determined to handle the case sternly.
“In the past too I asked my officers to treat these cases on priority. This case too will not be taken lightly. I give my word,” said Banerjee.
“I have strongly condemned the attack on you. If you want me to do it again, using any particular word or phrase of your choice, please tell me. I will do it again,” the chief minister added.
She suggested setting up of three-member public relations teams under the leadership of a nodal police officer in every area where hospitals are located. She also agreed with a suggestion from doctors that female security personnel should also be recruited since women also stage agitations inside hospitals.