New information obtained (under RTI Act) by PBT shows that over the past 4 years since the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinomul Congress (TMC) came to power, West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) has found only 3 doctors guilty for medical and/or ethical violation and suspended their medical registration for a period ranging between 3 months to 1 year. The news is only marginally better during the reign of the previous Left-front government that ruled West Bengal for more than 33 years until they were ousted in 2011. Information obtained shows that between 2000 and 2010, only 20 doctors were found guilty and lost their practicing licenses by the state medical council. Another striking information is the fact that the WBMC Registrar, Mr. D.K. Ghosh, has been working in the council since 1976, i.e. for almost 40 years. He was given several extensions by the government even after he crossed the mandatory retirement age long time ago – one wonders why. Was the WBMC Registrar performed incredibly well to protect the innocent patients or was he a good conduit to suppress corrupt activities inside the state medical council? It may be mentioned in this regard that all 17 doctor-members of the previous WBMC (under Left-front ruling) have been criminally indicted and facing serious charges under IPC Section 120b (criminal conspiracy) and Section 201 (screening offender) for shielding senior physician, Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, from justice for the wrongful death of Anuradha Saha.
The Mamata Banerjee came to power with boisterous claim that they would bring reform to the crumbling healthcare system in the state. But over the past four years, the medical delivery system in West Bengal has gone from bad to worse. Numerous allegations of corruption, nepotism and reckless behavior have surfaced in the recent months against the sitting WBMC president and a close ally of the chief minister, Dr. Nirmal Maji, who has continued to claim publicly that the medical council under his leadership has been performing a much better job than what had happened under the Left-front government. The information obtained by PBT paints an exactly opposite picture. Earlier this month, PBT also reported that MCI has ranked the WBMC worst in the country in proper disposal of complaints against doctors. It appears that the hapless patients of West Bengal have jumped from the frying pan to the fire by electing the Mamata Banerjee government.