Life and work at a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata

Tamoghna Biswas(6th Semester MBBS; tamoghnab[at]

Adrija Datta(4th Semester MBBS; adrijadatta[at]

We,are students at Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, Asia’s oldest and still one of the finest medical institutions. Established in 1835, it has travelled a long way since then to attain its present-day form. The hospital caters to a footfall of more than five thousand on an average day, delivering dedicated general, specialized and super-specialized services. We also have two sister institutions, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO), Eastern India’s largest Ophthalmology institute and Institute of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine (IHTM), the hematology superspeciality centre. Recently, the regional centre of oncology has been initiated and the college is one of the 13 in India to be selected for up gradation under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). An initiative has been taken by the Dept. of Surgery to start a Trauma Care Unit. Routine Immunization to a large catchment area and training of field workers and trainers has been undertaken by the Dept. of Community Medicine. A CVM under social marketing scheme works in close collaboration with AIHPH within the hospital premises. EKO-CT and MRI are great PPP initiatives installed for public benefit.

Medical College, KolkataIn general, the college being a tertiary care centre, serves the population of Kolkata and suburbs as well as the patients referred from other primary and secondary levels of healthcare in West Bengal, Orissa , Bihar, Jharkhand and even Bangladesh and Nepal. In general, people come from the middle and lower social rung of the society. With payment of a nominal fee, they can avail the services provided.   The health awareness and the general education standard are painstakingly low. They expect doctors to be panacea of all ills. Still, in keeping with recent trends, they turn violent when medical sciences and professional services fall short of their expectations. This has led to concerns over the safety of residents working even within the college premises. Not that professional negligence is non-existent, yet the doctor-patient ratio remains too low to serve every patient with utmost commitment. The interference of politics in day-to-day hospital service also remains a precipitating factor. Some people treat doctors as nothing less than demigods. When we met Manju Rani Devi(Name changed) in the psychiatric OPD, her son was in all praise for the doctors in our college who had helped her mother lead a normal life. I once took a road traffic accident victim to the ER and gave him the necessary first aid, and arranged for further management. The gratitude that I saw in his eyes still fills me with warmth. So, that’s what life is all about, these little moments,that make it all seem worthwhile…