Kolkata, Jun 1: With a pre-election pledge to restore the failing health of state-run hospitals, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today visited one in the adjoining South 24 Parganas district and expressed exasperation at the poor infrastructure and inadequate staff and doctors.
Banerjee, who holds the Health portfolio, landed up at the Bagha Jatin State General Hospital to question why the out patients department was not open at 11:30 am when it was scheduled to at 10:00 am with long queues of patients waiting before the out patients department.
“A drastic change and complete overhaul of the health infrastructure is needed,” the chief minister told reporters later at the state secretariat.
“More doctors, ward masters and medical staff and outdoor facilities are required for patients,” she said after finding the superintendent of the hospital in former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's constituency, on leave.
Not finding the superintendent, the chief minister made a quick round of the floors to see for herself the state of affairs at the hospital.
Banerjee then summoned the in-charge of the hospital and asked him why the OPD was not open till then.
She questioned the staff why there were queues of patients before the OPD and why they were not taking steps to serve them.
Banerjee said she was meeting ministers and officials on a daily basis as part of a continuous monitoring process to bring the system in order.
Earlier after taking over office, she had made surprise visits to the the SSKM Hospital, the Bangur Institute of Neurosciences and Psychiatry and the Sambhunath Pandit Hospital, catching the authorities unawares.
She also went to the R G Kar Hospital but turned away when she found crowds waiting. PTI