The Jorhat Medical College and Hospital was in the centre of another controversy with nurses striking work on Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm for alleged misbehaviour of security forces at the behest of Dr Purnima Baruah, Additional Superintendent of JMCH, during the visit of State Minister of Health, PWD, Finance, etc., Himanta Biswa Sarma, on July 4 last.
A magisterial enquiry has been ordered and the JMCH is conducting its own in-house enquiry. Medical Superintendent of JMCH, Dr Saurabh Borkotoki, said that the nurses withdrew their strike after a Magistrate assured them that an enquiry would be conducted into the matter.
During the strike, a patient who had suffered from a stroke died allegedly for want of oxygen and further compounded matters.
In written complaints to the Medical Superintendent of JMCH, Dr Saurabh Borkotoki, and the Principal-cum-Chief Superintendent, Dr Debajit Hazarika, the nurses alleged that three nursing superintendents and a nurse were rudely restricted from entering the neurosurgery unit which Sarma was scheduled to inaugurate that day by Dr Purnima Baruah and the security personnel.
Baruah denied that she was anywhere in the picture. Baruah said that since Sarma was under Z category security, she had given instructions to keep the area clear of people.
“It could be that the security personnel had used my name while clearing them out but I was nowhere near them,” she said. Baruah further said that due to the strike and no nursing personnel being at hand, a patient who had been admitted after suffering a stroke died for want of oxygen cylinder.
The interns did as much as they could but they cannot do all that a nurse do. The family of the patient pleaded for the nurses striking outside to come and attend to him but they were unmoved,” she said.
“What I heard was that the family then went to the police station to file a case but were later pacified,” Baruah further said. Regarding the nurses stating that she had called them mur nothoka (stupid), she said that that was an earlier case in which an enquiry was conducted and the verdict had gone in her favour.
Baruah had said this to one nurse who had not called a doctor or the patient’s attendant when the patient had started gasping for breath. The nurse had said that she had not called a doctor as the doctor on duty would soon be making his rounds. “We will also be conducting a separate enquiry and get the result by tomorrow,” Borkotoky said.