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Wait for surgery and treatment at SSKM Hospital

Metro found around 10 patients lying in the male surgery ward at SSKM with not a single doctor or nurse around

By Debraj Mitra in Calcutta

  • Published 17.06.19, 3:19 AM
  • Updated 17.06.19, 3:19 AM
Gautam Pal, who fractured his right leg in a bike accident, at SSKM Hospital on Sunday.
Gautam Pal, who fractured his right leg in a bike accident, at SSKM Hospital on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Bose

Patients have been lying unattended in the wards of SSKM Hospital with junior doctors on strike.

Several senior doctors and medical officers have been working overtime to ensure treatment but they are too few and the patients too many.

Metro found around 10 patients lying in the male surgery ward at SSKM on Sunday afternoon with not a single doctor or nurse around. A lone guard sat outside the entrance to the ward.

“No doctor visited the ward today. Yesterday, a doctor visited the ward once. That is how it has been for the past three days,” said Gautam Pal, 21, who fractured his right leg in a bike accident around a month ago. His right leg was held together by a series of what looked like metal screws, while his left thigh was heavily bandaged.

The third-year student from Habra in North 24 Parganas said a portion of skin from his left thigh had been grafted on to his right leg in the last week of May.

The paediatric surgery ward at the same hospital had no junior doctors or nurses on Sunday afternoon.
The paediatric surgery ward at the same hospital had no junior doctors or nurses on Sunday afternoon. Picture by Gautam Bose

On a normal day, multiple junior doctors are present in the ward to attend to patients but since the strike began, there has been none, Pal said. Senior doctors have been visiting the ward occasionally.

Raju Singh, 33, a resident of Shyamnagar in North 24- Parganas who was admitted to the hospital on June 9, said no junior doctor had visited the ward for the past three days. “A senior doctor has been visiting once daily. But every time a patient’s condition deteriorates, there is a problem,” said Singh, who claimed to be a Trinamul supporter.

Singh said he was attacked with a chopper during post-poll clashes in Bhatpara. “My right hand has been operated upon. But the left hand also needs surgery. I have been told that surgery will not be possible until the deadlock is resolved,” said Singh, whose hands and left feet were heavily bandaged.

One family member of each patient has been allowed inside the ward. Singh had his mother by his side, while Pal had his brother.

The scene at the paediatric surgery ward, a few blocks away, was similar. More than five children were admitted to the ward. A nurse and a male attendant sat in a room leading to the ward.

A resident medical officer attends to a patient in the rheumatology female ward on Sunday.
A resident medical officer attends to a patient in the rheumatology female ward on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Bose

Shampa Biswas’s son Gopal lay on one of the beds. The seven-year-old had burnt his right index finger, said the homemaker from Murshidabad.

Gopal was admitted to the hospital a week ago and was scheduled to undergo surgery last Tuesday, the day trouble broke out at the NRS Medical College and Hospital. He is still waiting to be operated on.

“Junior doctors have stopped visiting the ward since Tuesday. Senior doctors have been coming but they have not given a date for the surgery,” Shampa said.

The rheumatic ward for women had one resident medical officer attending to four patients.

He refused to speak on the effect of the strike but said a handful of post-doctoral trainees usually attend to the patients.

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