Kolkata: Outpatient departments of private hospitals were paralysed on Wednesday as doctors did not attend to patients as a mark of protest against the attack on two junior doctors of NRS hospital. At some of the private hospitals there were patients but no doctors. At some, the OPDs wore a deserted look and there were neither patients nor doctors. The empty seats at the OPD of Woodlands hospital in Alipore outnumbered the occupied ones around 11am. “Most of the doctors are not attending to outdoor patients. The footfall is lower than usual,” a hospital official said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess Durga Dipak Ghosh, a Bandel resident, was among the few who had turned up at Woodlands. Ghosh was with his wife who suffers from high blood sugar and related ailments. She was at the hospital to consult an endocrinologist. The slot had been booked in the last week of May. But Ghosh who had read reports of the clash at NRS did not take any chance. “I had called up the hospital to check if the doctor would be available. I left home only after getting a confirmation,” he said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers A few blocks away, the CMRI hospital was no different. Most seats on the ground floor OPD were empty. “Usually, there are more than 30 doctors at the OPD on a weekday. Today, it is fewer than five. Not even 25 patients had registered till noon. On other days, a few hundred turn up by 11am,” an executive at the registration desk in the OPD said. Doctors said it was a spontaneous protest in solidarity with the injured doctors of NRS. “We saw only emergency patients and patients who came from far-off places,” Gautam Mukhopadhyay, surgical oncologist and secretary of Bengal Oncology Foundation, said. “We can’t tolerate violence inside hospitals. The state and central governments must think of ways to increase security at hospitals so that doctors are not attacked,” he said. At BM Birla Heart Research Centre, operated by the same group that runs CMRI, the OPD had more patients, but doctors were hard to find. “I had booked an appointment for a family member on Wednesday morning. But when we reached the hospital, the cardiologist was not there. His secretary said he would not attend the OPD and gave us another slot on Thursday,” a septuagenarian Alipore resident said. At private hospitals across the city, doctors attended to patients at various wards but kept off OPDs. Hundreds of patients with prior appointment hadn’t turned up, following reports of the shutdown call given by doctors’ bodies. The CPM-backed Service Doctors Forum had called for a shutdown of OPDs at all private and government hospitals on Wednesday to protest the attack on junior doctors at NRS on Monday. The BJP-backed doctors’ cell, along with some medical practitioner, too, had called for a shutdown of OPDs to protest the assault. The OPDs at private hospitals off the Bypass were more deserted. At Ruby General Hospital, around 1.30pm, most of the patients at the OPD were medical representatives. Mehnaz Hasan had arrived from Dhaka with her mother, a neurological patient. “A doctor saw her yesterday (Tuesday) and she underwent some tests. I have come to collect the reports and show them to the doctor,” Hasan, who works with a medical tourism company that has offices in Bangladesh and Calcutta, said. Hasan was told at the OPD reception to wait in front of the neurologist’s chamber when The Telegraph met her. She had no idea when the doctor would turn up. “There is no other option because I will leave for Dhaka on Thursday,” she said. At AMRI Mukundapur, there are 50-odd seats in the OPD on the first floor. Hardly five were occupied. “The OPD footfall on a weekday is between 350 and 400. But today, the number barely crossed 50. The number of doctors is above 20 at any given point of time. Only a couple of doctors were there today,” a hospital official said. The official responses of hospitals were similar. “We condemn any act of violence in a hospital. However, we would like to inform patients and public at large that all our departments are functioning normally. This includes surgeries, emergencies and daily consultancy. There is a possibility that some doctors may not be available,” a spokesperson for CK Birla Hospitals that runs CMRI and BM Birla Heart Research Centre said. “All our departments, including emergency services, are operational today (Wednesday). Hospital occupancy is very high. OPD footfall is less than other weekdays,” an official of Ruby General Hospital said. “All our doctors and the hospital authorities condemn the attack on doctors and hospital staff.”(With inputs from Telegraph India)
New Delhi: About 4.74 crore small and marginal farmers registered under the PM-Kisan scheme before the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for general election came into effect on March 10 will get the second installment of Rs 2,000 each in their bank accounts, a senior government official said Saturday. Of these 4.74 crore beneficiaries, 2.74 crore farmers have so far received the first installment and the rest will be covered by month-end, he said. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has allowed the Union Agriculture Ministry to transfer the first and second tranche of the payment to all those beneficiaries registered under the scheme before March 10, the official added. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAhead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre announced the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year would be disbursed in three instalments to around 12 crore farmers who hold cultivable land up to 2 hectares. In the budget, the NDA government allocated a sum of Rs 20,000 crore, to transfer Rs 2,000 each to farmers in the first installment by March-end, for the ongoing fiscal under the scheme. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe scheme was formally launched at national level by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24 at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by transferring the first instalment to 1.01 crore farmers, amounting Rs 2,021 crore. “We were hoping to have the data of 12 crore farmers from across the country. But the data of 4.74 crore farmers has come before the MCC was enforced,” the official told PTI. The government has already released the first installment of Rs 2,000 each to 2.74 crore beneficiaries and the remaining will be covered before this month-end, he said. With regard to the payment of second tranche to begin from April 1, the official said the ECI has allowed to make the payment to all those beneficiaries registered before the MCC kicked in. “We can go ahead and make the payment of first installment to the rest of the people whose names are on the portal. We can go ahead and make the payment for the second installment as well,” the official said. In Uttar Pradesh, the first installment has been released to around one crore farmers so far and the Centre has received data of additional 66 lakh farmers. The official further said that Punjab and Haryana are amongst the top beneficiary states as more than 80 per cent of the farmers registered under the scheme have received the first installment. While, some states including West Bengal, Delhi and Sikkim have yet not submitted the farmers’ data and therefore no money has been transferred. The official also mentioned that no fresh data has come from states after the MCC came into effect.