Calcutta HC directs Health Secretary to meet protesting RG Kar Medical College medicos
Kolkata: The Health Secretary of the West Bengal government has been directed by the Calcutta High Court to meet the protesting medical students and junior doctors of the R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata on October 29.
A Bench comprising Justices Debangsu Basak and Rabindranath Samanta was adjudicating upon a PIL filed on Saturday alleging medical services to the public at the hospital have been adversely affected in wake of the ongoing stir by a section of the interns and medical students.
The protests, which began on October 3, have been going on for many weeks now. Around 350 resident doctors and students have been protesting to pree on fulfilling their demands including the formation of a Democratic Students Council, formation of a proper Hostel Development Committee, resolution of the Hostel Accommodation problems for girls, and resignation of the college principal, Sandeep Ghosh.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that a relay hunger strike was observed by junior doctors and medical students of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital (RGKMC), who threatened to continue their strike unless the health department led by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal fulfilled their demands.
A recent report in Live Law stated that the issue of the ongoing agitation resulting in crippling of healthcare services was brought to the court, wherein, the petitioner had requested the court to intervene in overcoming the impasse caused by the protesting students and junior doctors so that the general public would not be getting affected.
The matter was heard before a bench comprising of Justice Debangsu Basak and Justice Rabindranath Samanta, who observed,
"It would be appropriate to request the Health Secretary to meet the representatives of the respondent no. 8, not exceeding six in number on October 29, 2021 at 11.00 AM at the office of the Health Secretary. The Health Secretary is at liberty to hear such other parties that he deems appropriate."
The bench also made an appeal to the protesting medicos and junior doctors to not to disrupt the medical facilities at the hospital, noting that,
"We hope and trust that the respondent no. 8 will not take any measure so as to disrupt the medical facilities at the R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital and maintain the sanctity of the silent zone at the Hospital and the Medical College"
The court also added that the order however does not seek to curtail the right of the students and junior doctors to protest peacefully.
The Advocate General additionally stated that the present agitation is being carried out in a way that would impede the medical facilities at the Hospital, adding that the protest is affecting the public interest,
"Learned Advocate General appearing for the State submits that there are issues with regard to ingress and egress of the medical staff and the public in general at the Hospital. The agitations are being carried on in such a manner that it impedes the medical facilities at the Hospital, and that the agitations are affecting the public interest"
The case is scheduled to be heard next on November 2.
To view the official order, click on the link below: