Authorities at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) have prepared duty rosters of doctors for the ensuing festive season. The rosters have been prepared in such a way that doctors attached with the institute would attend duties in turns, so as to ensure normal functioning of the medical facility, officials said today.
According to the NBMCH Superintendent, Dr Sanjay Mallik, focus has been laid on engaging adequate manpower in view of the rising trend of children’s admission amid a viral outbreak. Altogether, 45 children have been admitted in the NBMCH in the past 24 hours, and 10 of them are suffering from fever and acute respiratory infections (ARI), sources said.
The sources added that 12 children suffering from fever and ARI have died at the NBMCH since 1 September. “The doctors follow duty roasters during festivals every year. A sufficient number of junior and senior doctors will
be available for treatment of patients. Given the admission of children, focus has been laid on this. We have asked them to ensure adequate number of doctors unit-wise,” Dr Mallik said.
Each unit has house staff, post graduate trainees, nursing staff, and senior doctors. There are 89 medical officers at the hospital. The roaster will be effective 11 October (Sasthi) and remain till 20 October (Laxmi Puja). Emergency services will remain functional. However, the outpatient department will be closed on 13 October (Astami) and 15 October (Dasami), it is learnt.
Dr Mallik claimed that the roster was prepared in a planned manner so that there should not be any problems for patients, and that adequate number of doctors as per the strength could attend to patients during the Puja days. The state government had cancelled the leave of doctors during the coronavirus pandemic last year.
However, questions have remained about proper health services, as according to available data, 101 deaths had been registered during the five days of Durga Puja beginning with Sasthi last year, 103 patients had allegedly died in 2019, while 73 patients undergoing treatment in the NBMCH died between Sasthi and Dasami in 2018.
At least 51 patients had died there during the Puja in 2013. NBMCH sources had claimed the figures might have included some brought dead cases and unnatural deaths registered with the police. Given this fact, questions
are raised on the proper adherence to the duty roster prepared in view of the Pujas every year. There have also been allegations that rules are violated and the roster is not followed by a section of doctors.