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MP Rajdeep Roy keeps media in his line of fire, blames patients for lack of cleanliness in SMCH; assures addition of beds in ICU 

On the pretext of the growing number of cases in Cachar, increasing instances of patients complaining about the medical facilities, alarming cases of alleged gross medical negligence, Dr. Rajdeep Roy, member of parliament and vice chairman, Governing Body of Silchar Medical College and Hospital, addressed a press conference in an attempt to allay the anxieties simmering across the valley.

Dr. Roy, in unqualified terms, acknowledged the efforts of the medical fraternity of Silchar Medical College and Hospital. Citing the number of tests, low mortality rate, number of recovered patients, increase in the number of ICU and general beds, the member of parliament, dubbed the efforts of the medical fraternity and the State Government as “exceptional”, “extraordinary” and “unimaginable”.

After pointing out that he knows Silchar Medical College “On the back of palms,” Dr. Roy attempted to wish away the instances of complaints regarding the cleanliness and hygiene in the COVID wards. According to the vice-chairman of SMCH’s governing body, it is the patients who are to be held accountable for the clogged drains, dirty bathrooms and unhygienic conditions of the COVID wards in SMCH.

Without mincing his words, he said, “The patients litter the floors with plastic bottles, spit on the walls, avoid using dustbins” and it has lead to a “handicap ” for the Administration. He further added that the SMC Administration is finding it difficult in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene owing to the bad “Social Habits” of the patients.

While referring to the increasing number of social media posts on the quality of food provided to the COVID patients, Dr. Roy sternly asserted, “It is not possible to provide 5-star quality food to the patients. This is not ITC or Hilton. If you want such food, got to a hotel. What has been granted by the government will be given to the patients.”

Dr. Roy admitted that the growth and development of the infrastructure of SMC hasn’t happened at the ideal pace. “Since Silchar Medical College didn’t receive patronage from the upper strata of our society, it’s growth got hindered” believes the MP. He expressed his optimism about the future of SMC in the light of the fact that “people from the upper strata have turned to the medical college in the ongoing pandemic.”

The MP harked back on the instances of social media uproar regarding the images of patients in terrible conditions and took a dig at the selective outrage of the local media, by saying, “While you all see the condition of patients, you don’t see the condition of young nurses and doctors. If you want, I can send you the images of 19 year old nurses lying on the floor dehydrated after their hectic work in the PPE suits. For humanitarian reasons, we haven’t released the pictures till now.”

Dr. Roy continued, “I urge all the journalists to motivate the medical fraternity for better work. If the doctors and the nurses get demotivated, there won’t be anyone to serve you in future,”

Keeping the media in his line of fire, Dr. Roy complained, “While some media persons have published pieces on Rs 1.5lakh /patient’, it is utterly wrong. We are not receiving 1.5/lakh per patient ”

Divulging certain sketchy details of the expenditure on patients, Dr. Roy said, ” We are spending 30,000 on Remdesivir, 5,000/RT PCR test. If one  merely does 3 RT PCR on any patient, 15,000 gets spent there.” Added, “You people have to look into the logistics “-is what the Honorable MP demanded of the journalists’ fraternity.”

His flurry of salvos directed at the journalists continued, “Why are you all complaining about cobwebs in hospitals? Don’t we have cobwebs in our homes? Should it be a reason to criticise the medical fraternity?” He went on, “People are posting pictures of bathrooms clicked 30 days ago.”

In a solemnly prudish note to the journalists, Dr. Roy said, “Based on the bad experience of one or two patients, you cannot demoralise the entire medical fraternity.” “This is very unfortunate,” and thus lamented Dr. Roy at the role of journalists.

While responding to a question on the medical negligence and mishandling of certain cases, Dr. Roy exhorted, “Many patients have been brought to the hospital at the eleventh hour. While some were dead on arrival. They went to the media the next day and complained that the patient was alive when they brought him.”

Referring to the unfortunate death of Sayan Das and the accusations of gross medical negligence and delay, in that case, a journalist asked for his opinion on the issue. Dr. Roy, avoiding the specifics of the case, responded as follows – “The time gap in the shifting of duty among doctors and the management of duty hours, in general, is indeed a challenge for the medical fraternity. This is true for all hospitals across the country.”

Reassuring the citizens of Barak Valley, Dr. Roy said, “Within 10days, we will have a 40-50 bedded ICU with adequate ventilators. Moreover, we will also set up a 60 bedded general ward within two weeks.”

Throughout the press conference, Dr. Rajdeep Roy, on a number of occasions,  urged the citizens to let go of the social stigma around COVID and pleaded for cooperation in the fight against the ongoing pandemic.

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