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MP junior doctors threaten state-wide protest, Congress MP seeks Health Minister’s intervention in medico suicide

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Bhopal, Aug 5 (IANS) Enraged with the suicide of a 27-year-old doctor Bala Saraswati at Bhopal’s Gandhi Medical College (GMC) and alleged inaction from the state government, junior doctors, along with others from the medical fraternity, have threatened a state-wide protest from Saturday.

Dr. Bala, a resident of Hyderabad, was pursuing her post-graduate (PG) degree in gynecology from GMC. She died due to an overdose of anesthesia on July 31.

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During the investigation, Bhopal police had recovered a note on her mobile phone which revealed that she took the extreme step because of “harassment and toxic working culture” in the GMC.

Her husband has lodged an FIR, alleging that she was under acute pressure as she was regularly harassed by Dr. Aruna Kumar – Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the GMC.

In a fresh development on Friday, a group of medical teachers of gynaecology also wrote to the Madhya Pradesh Medical Teachers Association, unanimously blaming Dr Aruna Kumar for her rude behaviour.

“Dr. Aruna Kumar, who is HoD of gynaecology, behaves very badly with all of us. We all are fed up with regular harassment by her. Because of her our entire gynecology department of GMC is affected. Due to her bad behaviour, many teachers and doctors have opted to leave the department and we all are demanding that Dr. Aruna Kumar should be removed from this department,” a letter of teachers of the Gynaecology Department of GMC read.

Bhopal District Collector Ashish Singh on Friday visited the GMC to express his condolence on the death of Dr. Bala and also held a discussion with doctors and medical teachers protesting at the site.

Meanwhile, Congress MP from Kerala, Benny Behanan, who is said to be a relative of Dr. Bala’s family, wrote to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and has sought his attention on this matter. “You are aware about the suicide of Dr. Bala Sarswati at Bhopal’s GMC on July 31. In her suicide note, she alleged that she was taking this extreme step due to harassment at the hands of her college faculty. It was alleged by several students that Dr. Aruna Kumar, head of the department, had a role to play in the young doctor’s suicide,” Behanan wrote.

Notably, Dr. Bala was the second female junior doctor, who died by suicide within a period of seven months at the GMC. On January 24, Akanksha Maheswari, 27, a resident of Gwalior, had died by suicide after consuming overdose of anesthesia at her hospital room in the campus. Also, two days after DR. Bala’s suicide, a male trainee doctor Prateek Parasar, who completed his MBBS course this year, attempted suicide on August 2.



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