CM Mamata Banerjee slams dishonest health employees

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CM Mamata Banerjee slams dishonest health employees KOLKATA: On a day when CM Mamata Banerjee said she has been left heart-broken by the death of a youngster who was deprived of a brain implant at the Bangur Institute of Neurology and Psychiatry since his parents couldn’t bribe an employee, police on Thursday found inside hand in the case. “This shouldn’t happen in a health system which provides free service to all,” she said, adding that while 99% of doctors and health employees were honest and efficient, it was the corrupt 1% that sullied reputation of government hospitals.

Addressing the sixth convocation of the West Bengal University of Health Sciences, she also called for a system to identify patients from other states and countries who seek free treatment at government hospitals in Bengal.

“How much money do you need to survive? Even if you dine in a restaurant, you won’t be having diamond curry for which you need crores of rupees. At the end of the day, we all have either rice-dal or rice-meat. Do you need to be dishonest for that?” asked Mamata.

She called upon health employees to be honest, work with their heads held high and live with pride. “Our doctors see more than 2 lakh patients everyday and 9 crores a year. We now have1400 doctors in the government sector and have appointed 21,000 new nurses. But there is still a scarcity of doctors,” said Mamata.

Observing that the state health budget has gone up to Rs 8771crore from just Rs 571crore eight years ago, Mamata admitted that misbehaviour and the greed for money was tarnishing the reputation of government hospitals.

Lalbazar officers said they have found both internal and external hand in the case. Joint CP (crime) Praveen Tripathi said they were probing roles of several people.

The state health infrastructure was under a lot of strain due to the additional burden of patients from at least four states, the CM said. “Residents of Bengal should get preference in government hospitals.” She maintained that doctors in Bengal were still among the best in India. On the NEET exam, she felt that Bengal students have been deprived. She said while the state had 1445 medical seats, 400 were being added.

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