Doctors in government-run hospitals seeking to coax patients to their own private clinics is an old story in India.
Now one of their tribe is facing flak in Calcutta, a prominent metro in western India. Thursday members of the Communist Party of India (CPI) staged a demonstration before the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, demanding that the doctor concerned be removed from the hospital.
The matter came to light after Lilabati Roy, a patient, was asked by a surgeon who operated on her to move to a nursing home run by him.
Roy was admitted to the hospital around mid-August for an operation. After she underwent the surgery, the surgeon told her son Subrata that another surgery was required.
He allegedly confided to Roy's family that the surgery couldn't be carried out at the institute as there were not enough facilities either for performing the surgery or for conducting some mandatory tests.
Subrata was asked to get his mother discharged and take her home.
"He asked me to arrange Rs 50, 000 for the surgery and come to his nursing home," said Subrata. The family members, however, decided to check out for themselves and got in touch with a relative, who was an employee of the institute.
No problem, the surgery could very well be carried as also the tests, who told you but? He was briefed of all the developments in the case.
As it happened the relative concerned is also a union member and he promptly reported the matter to his own colleagues. Roy's family members themselves approached the institute authorities and lodged a complaint against the scheming surgeon.
It was in that backdrop, the CPI supporters staged the demonstration and alleged there were other doctors too in that league and they should be weeded out.
The authorities have formed a three-member inquiry committee to probe the charges. A source said the Lilabati was under the care of another doctor in the hospital now.