Kolkata

Encephalitis: Three health officials suspended

Children being treated for encephalitis at North Bengal Medical College in Siliguri on Friday.

Children being treated for encephalitis at North Bengal Medical College in Siliguri on Friday.  

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who holds the Health portfolio, suspended three senior health officials of north Bengal on Friday.

Amidst criticism from several quarters over the government’s failure to deal with rising cases of encephalitis in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who holds the Health portfolio, suspended three senior health officials of north Bengal on Friday.

The three officials include the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts and the Medical Superintendent of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. The Chief Minister accused them of “suppressing facts” and not providing information to the State government on time.

However, the Opposition said the officers were suspended as they were "providing information" on deaths to the media.

Over the last few days information on encephalitis and corresponding death toll was routinely published by the media. But the State government was reportedly in the dark on the issue. In fact, only few days ago, Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya was informed about the spread of the disease in north Bengal in a press conference in Siliguri. Ms Bhattacharya had even told the journalists that there was “no such thing”.

“Those who were in charge at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital and CMOH did not provide information to the government at the right time….we have immediately suspended them and sought clarification from them,” Ms Banerjee told journalists here.

The Opposition parties criticised the Chief Minister’s action and said that the decision is an attempt to pass on the blame on officers who were in no way responsible for the crisis.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 2:16:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/encephalitis-three-health-officials-suspended/article6251824.ece

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