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West Bengal: RRG Kar strike enters 10th day, govt meets hospital admin to discuss breakthrough

The protest began on October 9 after months of dispute between the interns and the hospital’s principal Sandeep Ghosh over a range of issues.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: October 19, 2021 4:39:11 am
lung diseases, dementia, lung diseases causes, lung diseases effects, lung diseases hazards, dementia causes, dementia treatments, indian express news, indian expressThe other demands include reinstatement of the RGKMC union, a “transparent” hostel council and more hostel beds for female resident doctors. The principal had earlier claimed that the agitation has been “hijacked by outsiders”.

Even as the doctors’ strike at Kolkata’s RG Kar Medical College and Hospital (RGKMC) entered its 10th day on Monday, state health department officials met the hospital administration to discuss ways to achieve a breakthrough and ensure the normalisation of medical services at the state-run facility.

Frustrated with the continuing stalemate — on Sunday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Santanu Sen and four MLAs of the ruling party failed to break the stalemate at a meeting with the protesters, and hospital representatives — the hospital administration on Monday started taking action against the post-graduate interns who have gone on strike, and instructed its officials to mark them absent if they do not report for duty because of the ongoing demonstration. Some protesters are on a relay hunger strike to push the hospital to accept their demands.

The protest began on October 9 after months of dispute between the interns and the hospital’s principal Sandeep Ghosh over a range of issues. A group of student representatives had gone to the principal’s home, seeking to talk to him about their demands. A video on social media purportedly shows Ghosh threatening the doctors, following which the relay hunger strike was announced. The protesters want reinstatement of the RGKMC Union, a transparent hostel council, and more hostel beds for women resident doctors. Ghosh has claimed that “outsiders” have hijacked the protest.

The situation worsened on October 14 after the protesters alleged that a few unidentified people attacked some interns on Belgachia Bridge during a human chain demonstration. The following day, the hospital’s junior resident doctors also backed the interns’ decision to boycott duty. As a result, patient admissions have dropped by almost half, according to officials.

Though initially expressing optimism about the nature of the dialogue with the political and hospital representatives, a student delegate who attended the meeting said the protesters would take a call only after consulting all the stakeholders at the demonstration.

Local councillor Atin Ghosh has expressed scepticism about the intention of the student delegates, saying, “They say one thing during the discussions. When I go back, it becomes
different.”

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