public healthcare

West Bengal: Doctor suspended for Facebook posts on government hospitals treating dengue patients

The state Health Department deemed his comments ‘derogatory to the hospital administration’.

The West Bengal Health Department has suspended a doctor after he described the poor condition of government hospitals treating dengue patients in the state on Facebook.

Arunachal Dutta Choudhury’s posts on the social networking site amount to “misinterpretation in the public and are derogatory to the hospital administration” the state Health Department said in the suspension order issued on November 10, PTI reported.

Choudhury was posted at the Barasat District Hospital in the North 24 Parganas district. In his Facebook posts, he claimed that around 500 people came to the hospital on October 6. He wrote about his struggle to diagnose the patients as many of them were lying on the floor.

“When the number of patients I was treating was about 100, I knew we were working in war-like conditions, but after it approached 500, I realised it was impossible to wage war,” he wrote in Bengali, according to the Hindustan Times.

The Health Department had said there have been 19 deaths from dengue in state-run hospitals since January, and more than 18,000 cases were reported in various government clinical establishments, according to PTI.

In October, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the health minister, said her government was working to fight the dengue outbreak in the state, and that there was no need to panic.

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