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SCB junior doctors intensify strike

Correspondent

Hospital superintendent goes on leave

CUTTACK: The four-day long strike by junior doctors of SCB Medical College took a turn on Saturday when hospital superintendent J K Balabantray proceeded on a long leave. He was also holding the additional charge of the medical college principal since early this week.

Before going on leave, Balabantray was gheraoed for over five hours by the striking doctors earlier in the day. The city police rescued him from the agitating doctors.

As soon as Balabantray came out from his office, the junior doctors locked both the offices of the superintendent and the principal and paralyzed the functioning of the hospital.

Meanwhile, the striking doctors have threatened to further intensify the agitation if their demand of providing adequate security inside the hospital is not fulfilled soon.

The Government on the other hand has appointed Prof P K Chinara as the acting principal of the medical college while Prof R N Biswal has been appointed acting superintendent of the hospital following Balabantray’s decision to go on leave.

The State Health Secretary, Director of Medical Education and Training and some senior professors are currently holding parleys with the striking doctors and sources added that the striking doctors may call off their stir soon.

Around 350 junior doctors, about 110 house surgeons, nurses and MBBS students of the medical college are on strike since Wednesday following an attack on an emergency unit staff of the hospital by over 25 youths on Tuesday. The attackers, reportedly friends and relatives of a patient who died in the hospital, had ransacked the unit alleging negligence in treatment.

Earlier in the morning, the striking doctors went in a rally inside the hospital campus and gheraoed Balabantray who was inside the principal’s office. The junior doctors shouting slogans against Balabantray demanded his immediate resignation from both the posts.

"Balabantray is unfit for any administrative job of the hospital and all the recent troubles inside the campus are due to his poor handling of the situation. He should be immediately divested from both the posts", said the junior doctors’ association (JDA) president B B Satpathy.

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