I’m a doctor. But as because I’m a Communist primarily, if I have to analyze this situation and be a partisan, since you can’t be apartisan in a class society, which compels me to side with the interests of a particular class, so that’s why, I’d side with the general public who comprises mostly of the working class poor masses of this society and against this strike of the health professionals, but, it is also a fact that this section of doctors, the junior doctors (the interns) and pgts are burdened with over work with little pay both in public and private set up. This section of the doctors, qualitatively in the socio-economic sense, stand apart from the highly salaried senior health professionals since their huge income comes indirectly but actually from the exploitation of the working class of someplace else. So when talking of this particular section of the doctors, the overworked (West Bengal has a doctor patient ratio of 1:1850), under paid, provided with poor infrastructure, with no security from mob violence, whose cause itself is a whole different issue, briefly, such a situation is due to social alienation in a commodity society, where everything, even healthcare is transformed from a basic human right to a commodity to be bought from the market. The issue regarding the security of these doctors in the short term could have been taken up, if there was a large organized vanguard Leninist party to put forward demands to the government which could have been channelled in the long term into class struggle against the bourgeoisie (though a very small section of the doctors would actually take part in it).
So, it is of course a desperate step taken up by these doctors which as Communists we cannot support, because by doing that we are ignoring the suffering of the working class poor patients who mainly come to these medical college hospitals. But blaming all the doctors for the practice of a few, or a whole section of doctors for the act of another section of doctors is wrong too. We as Communists can’t afford to be this clumsy.
Rehan Roy is a doctor by profession.