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Bengal worst in healthcare: People for Better Treatment

Kolkata: Expressing alarm over the increasing incidents of medical negligence in West Bengal, People for Better Treatment (PBT), an organisation crusading against the menace, on Wednesday blamed the Mamata Banerjee government for the state being the “worst” in providing healthcare.

Referring to the recent incidents of medical negligence including one that caused the death of two newborns due to overheating of an incubator at the Medical College and Hospital Kolkata, PBT president Dr Kunal Saha accused the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) of “fostering” medical negligence.

“The healthcare condition in Bengal is perhaps the worst in the country. Far from improving the dismal system it inherited from the previous regime, the Mamata government has posted incompetent and corrupt officials at the highest positions in the healthcare regulatory system,” Dr Saha alleged.

Dr Saha, who filed a petition in the Supreme Court over Banerjee’s decision to appoint Dr Sukumar Mukherjee as chief advisor to the health department, asserted of filing more public interest litigations (PIL) if the WBMC and other healthcare regulatory system continue to be “infested” with corrupt and incompetent officials.

“The WBMC has now been turned into a den of corruption. Far from taking cognizance of medical negligence, it is always busy in saving the guilty doctors. We have already written to the governor seeking removal of tainted officials in the council and if no action is taken, we will file PILs for removal of such people,” said Dr Saha.

Dr Saha had challenged Dr Sukumar Mukherjee’s appointment, contending that the doctor was indicted by the Supreme Court for medical negligence in the death of Dr Saha’s wife Anuradha.

Lamenting the “flawed” medical regulatory system in the country, Dr Saha stressed the need to create widespread awareness and mass movement to counter the rapidly growing menace of medical negligence.


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