Darjeeling MP Raju Bista has demanded Chief Minister Mamata Bannere’s immediate intervention in bailing out the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) from the “pathetic condition” that he says the region’s premier health institute is presently in. In a letter he has sent to the CM, Mr Bista has also mentioned his observations after his visit to the facility in Siliguri, which falls under his parliamentary constituency. He has urged formation of a committee and immediate intervention from her as she also looks after the health department.
Mr Bista visited the NBMCH on 2 October, while he sent the letter today. “I was horrified at the condition of hygiene, infrastructure and facilities provided at the hospital,” Mr Bista said after visiting the NBMCH. According to Mr Bista’s observations, there is acute shortage of doctors, nurses and general staff and they are over-stressed and are forced to work overtime. The BJP MP has also pointed out that 103 patients died during the three days of Durga Puja “due to lack of doctors,” adding that another patient died in the critical care unit after fire broke out in the ventilator there.
Apart from the non-functional CT Scan machine, Mr Bista also drew the chief minister’s attention to how poor patients had been buying medicines from outside. “Economically marginalized families are forced to buy expensive medicines from outside. Over 50 percent of the medicines prescribed by the doctors have caused massive inconvenience to the poor people,” Mr Bista says in the letter. Besides a few other issues, he adds: “A total of Rs 150 crore was sanctioned by the central government under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, and that has not been utilized properly because of which the patients are suffering.”