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Featured Image: The Facebook post that has cost the doctor his job.  

Barasat: STATE government has suspended a senior doctor at the Barasat District Hospital in North 24-Parganas for a Facebook post narrating the flood of dengue patients and corresponding shortage of manpower to treat them.

His Facebook post was also critical of the state government’s lackadaisical response to deal with dengue and attempts at suppressing facts related to the fatal fever, which has so far claimed many lives in Bengal.

Arunachal Dutta Choudhury (63), the medical officer-in-charge of Barasat District Hospital, received the suspension notice today.

This comes about a month since he uploaded a long post in Bengal on Facebook, along with two photographs of a writing board detailing the number of patients admitted to the hospital on a day and the corresponding number of health staff.

In his FB post, Dr. Dutta Choudhury has mentioned that until the outbreak of dengue, he used to supervise the admission and provide treatment to about 50-100 patients a day. The same has now gone up to about 500 a day, making it impossible to provide proper treatment.

Dr. Arunachal Dutta Choudhury
Dr. Arunachal Dutta Choudhury

The senior physician wrote about pressure from health department bosses to cover up the lack of manpower and shortcomings in infrastructure. He wrote that at the instruction of higher-ups, doctors like him were not even mentioning in a death certificate that the patient died of dengue.

Dr. Dutta Choudhury further mentioned that the flooding of dengue patients is so intense that doctors are being compelled to discharge fever patients even before they have been cured. This is to make room for new patients.

Not stopping at this, he took an indirect dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s over-enthusiasm in organising Durga Puja immersion carnival or the U-17 Football World Cup even when people are dying in the state due to dengue and other undiagnosed fever.

Asked to comment on his suspension, Dr. Dutta Choudhury today said that it was within the powers of the state government.

“I had joined the profession in 1983 and was due to retire in 2011 at the age of 58 years. But extension was granted to me twice without my consent and now I am facing the first-ever suspension in my entire career,” he said.