Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Patients all over the state are perilously alarmed, as allopathy Doctors of Government Hospitals taking advantage of Navin’s novitiate have threatened to stop attending their duties with effect from 9th November.
Chief Minister Navin Patnaik is perhaps not sure that there is necessity to learn administrative essentials. Despite so many years in power, he has failed to learn Oriya, the official language of the State. So he is unable to know from the people where his administration really fails. The entire State as well as every member of his party knows that unable of understand intricate issues, he depends on advice of his father’s former secretary Pyari Mohan Mohapatra to take decisions or pass orders. In the situation, he fails to use statesmanly foresight in use of his powers and prerogatives as a result of which, administration in various sectors has collapsed.
Health sector is under the most melancholic threat at the moment as the entire corps of allopathy doctors led by Orissa Medical services Association (OMSA) has tendered resignation to pressurize administration to stop dismissal from service of three of its members, who are found guilty of stark violation of medico-legal manuals in conducting postmortem investigations on bodies of five victims of Kalinga Nagar pogrom executed on January 2, 2006.
These three doctors had perpetrated the most heinous crime on the bodies of the massacred tribals and had chopped off the breasts of female victims and palms of male victims though Law never required that.
The motive behind this sordid act was to transmit a message to the tribal peoples that if they don’t cooperate with the TATAs and other industrialists, their future progeny would be threatened. Breasts of females symbolizing source of livelihood of the new born and hands of males symbolizing source of sustenance and protection, the message was formulated to terrify the tribal agitators who by birth and tradition rely upon symbols in every sphere of existence.
Family members of the female victims had discovered this crime at the time of cremation and cried over this ghastly mischief. But the chopped off breasts could not be located and eventually, notwithstanding reflection in media and Legislature, the families of the females whose corpses were vandalized abandoned the allegation as with cremation of the corpses the evidence of the crime had been obliterated. So, the issue of only the chopped off palms formed the crux of allegation against the doctors.
The said doctors have not revealed their motives. They are educated in medico-legal matters. So, knowingly they violated the Law. Without being excessively motivated, they could not have vandalized dead bodies like this beyond medico-legal limitations. When they have not revealed their motive, it is inferred that they had done this barbaric crime with a deliberate design to terrorize the tribal community so that TATA and other non-Oriya industrialists would sans any resistance acquire Orissa soil. On this premise, their dismissal from service seems to be the softest possible punishment.
But OMSA that has never condemned the unlawful offense perpetrated by the three doctors on dead bodies of the tribal peoples of Kalinga Nagar to please the TATA empire, has instigated the doctors of the State to obstruct legal action against the culprits by blackmailing the State through threats to stop medical services in totality.
In these pages I have earlier exposed how doctors dedicated to their hospitals and patients have been penalized with disadvantageous posting by authorities hand-in-glove with the private practitioners. OMSA has never raised its voice against such foul play.
The fake medicine factory of Kantabanji could never have run for so many years so safely had the black sheep segment amongst medical practitioners not supported it. It was sheer accident that the Kantabanji factory was unveiled in July 2007 and the owner-operator Sankarlal Agarwal was arrested. OMSA has never condemned Agrawal and has never wanted its members to find out the damage the fake medicines must have wrought on their patients under their prescriptions with emphasis on how to recover the damage. On the other hand, the then health minister Duryodhan Majhi had alleged that the Chief Minister had sat over his letter wherein he had given details of how spurious medicines were being manufactured and marketed with support from medical practitioners. The media elaborately covered Majhi’s allegation. He was divested of the portfolio; but action against fake medicine racket was never expedited. OMSA has never wanted to know as to why the CM was sleeping over Majhi’s letter detailing the fake drug operation and has never protested against the delay in administration of Law against Agarwal.
The entire State was shocked to know that Dr. Sudhir Kumar Brahma, deputy Chief medical Officer of the Capital Hospital was the kingpin in female foeticide massively perpetrated in Nayagarh. He was arrested by the Crime Branch of Orissa Police that works under the CM. A gynecology specialist of the Capital Hospital, Dr. Sanjay Roy was also located as another perpetrator of foeticide in Nayagarh and was suspended. Both of these offenders were reinstated and rewarded with prize postings. Brahma is now Orissa’s Deputy Director of health services and Roy is comfortably nestled in BMC Hospital. OMSA has never protested against governmental patronization to these marked perpetrators of crime against human lives.
Funds obtained from the World Bank on loan are looted in Orissa Health Systems Development Project (OHSDP) and the exposure is established. Doctor-in-charge of the concerned Hospital where the loot is located cannot certainly be linked to the crime; but cannot be saved from suspicion. OMSA has neither stressed on action against the Doctors, who, heading the Hospitals, have failed to pay meticulous attention to execution of the project within their jurisdiction nor has ever exposed the corruption as a collective body of Doctors.
No doubt, health care in Orissa is in utter disarray. OMSA as the body of doctors has never worked to set it right. It has never been fair to its dedicated members who have no godfather in government. The dedicated doctors perish in disadvantageous postings in remote rural belts and unhealthy agency areas whereas the black sheep segment of the corps of doctors capable of satisfying avarice of authorities glow in private practice by obtaining positions in urban and ultra-urban Hospitals. These pages carry evidences of how such doctors are posted in hospitals of their choice against any vacant post when vacancies in their respective disciplines do not exist. This is a major cause of dissatisfaction amongst the Doctors and a bitter contributor to disorder in health service. OMSA has never protested against favoritism in transfer and postings.
Its present protest against proposed punishment to the three doctors who vandalized the dead bodies of tribals at Kalinga Nagar in the guise of postmortem examination is indicator to the only truth that the office bearers of OSMA are a body of anarchists in health service sector. Navin’s novitiate suits them best.
If the scenario does not change or changes from worse to worst and OMSA succeeds in stopping health service as threatened, harassed peoples of Orissa will not do any wrong in taking individual doctors, who refuse them service in Hospitals, to task in any manner they like.