June 17, 2019
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s solutions ends junior doctors’ agitation
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a detailed discussion with representatives of junior doctors from 14 medical colleges in the State at Nabanna. Health department and police officials were also present. At the end of 90 minutes of talks, held live on TV channels, a positive outcome emerged after the Chief Minister offered solutions and assured the doctors they would be implemented in due course. (Later, the doctors officially called off the agitation and will resume normal work tomorrow.)
Listening patiently to every demand, Mamata Banerjee tabled on-the-spot solutions and suggestions, which were welcomed by the doctors’ representatives. She said that strong action would be taken immediately whenever any untoward incident happened.
At the end, Mamata Banerjee said doctors were treated like gods because of their knowledge of healing, and hence while the suggestions raised at this meeting would be taken up, it was the onus of the doctors to maintain their good reputation. This concluding gesture received a loud round of applause from the doctors.
Some of the solutions offered by the Chief Minister at the meeting:
There would be a collapsible gate at emergency departments in hospitals so that not more than two relatives of a patient can be inside at one time.
Senior doctors should conduct an assessment of serious cases – how grievous the condition of the patient is and what immediate action needs to be taken.
Public relations personnel have to communicate with those accompanying a patient in a polite, sympathetic manner, to tell them of the patient’s situation.
Closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) would be installed at appropriate places for full access to action areas.
A nodal police officer would be appointed who would monitor all hospitals in Kolkata – this officer will be solely dedicated to the purpose. A similar officer would be available for the night time also. There would be nodal officer in every district as well.
Grievance cells at government hospitals should be prominently placed, with instructions in three languages. The process of submitting grievances must be clearly mentioned. Patients’ family members and friends must be made aware of the grievance redressal system.
I will go to a hospital if the need arises as per my time and consideration; please do not take it for granted that I will immediately rush to a hospital, she told the doctors.
We have increased and updated infrastructure at all government hospitals. Please utilise the facilities properly and according to priority.
Even then, if a situation goes out of control, inform the police picket and local police station immediately; I am suggesting the implementation of a panic button system or alarm that will notify the local police station. The police would also have to act fast.
The medical college hospitals must have stronger security systems, by means of which effective countermeasures can be taken. An emergency or back gate has to be present at every hospital.
Patient welfare committees at the hospitals must be effective.
Security at the three dental colleges will also have to be improved. With respect to dental hospitals, root canal procedure is a time-consuming process and so patients and their kin have to be explained the entire process.
Emergency equipment must be available and serviceable at all hospitals. Costly high-grade equipment are lying unused at several hospitals; hence, I am asking the health department to ensure that these are utilised. High-grade systems like cath labs will be installed on a need-to basis.
Health department teams must visit the medical college hospitals affiliated to the West Bengal University of Medical Sciences to ensure the proper running of these hospitals.
A few tests that have to be done at the OPD stage will be included in the Swasthya Sathi Scheme.
I request everyone to please give a strong message to the public that doctors are not enemies of the public – I have always said this, and I am repeating again.
In future, all administration meetings of the health department that I attend concerning hospitals will have a representative of junior doctors.
Ethics, values and communication skills have to be enhanced through monthly workshops.
Do not treat on the basis of caste, religion, political or other backgrounds.