Bhopal: Following the tragic suicide of 27-year-old doctor Bala Saraswati at Bhopal’s Gandhi Medical College (GMC) and the perceived lack of action from the state government, junior doctors and other medical professionals have threatened a statewide protest starting from Saturday.
Dr Bala, originally from Hyderabad, was pursuing her post-graduate (PG) degree in gynaecology at GMC when she passed away due to an anaesthesia overdose on July 31. During the investigation, a note on her mobile phone revealed that she took this extreme step because of the “harassment and toxic working culture” prevailing at GMC.
Her husband filed a First Information Report (FIR), accusing Dr Aruna Kumar, the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at GMC, of causing her acute pressure through regular harassment.
Recently, a group of gynaecology medical teachers also wrote to the Madhya Pradesh Medical Teachers Association, unanimously holding Dr Aruna Kumar responsible for her disrespectful behaviour. They expressed their frustration with the continuous harassment, which has led to a negative impact on the entire gynaecology department, with several teachers and doctors choosing to leave. The letter demands the removal of Dr Aruna Kumar from the department.
Bhopal District Collector Ashish Singh visited GMC to express his condolences on Dr Bala’s death and held discussions with protesting doctors and medical teachers.
In response to the incident, Congress MP from Kerala, Benny Behanan, who is reportedly related to Dr Bala’s family, wrote to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, drawing attention to the matter. The letter highlights Dr Bala’s suicide note, alleging harassment by her college faculty, particularly naming Dr Aruna Kumar.
Notably, Dr Bala’s tragic suicide marks the second such incident in seven months at GMC. Earlier, on January 24, 27-year-old junior doctor Akanksha Maheswari from Gwalior had also died by suicide after consuming an anaesthesia overdose in her hospital room on the campus. Additionally, two days after Dr Bala’s suicide, a male trainee doctor named Prateek Parasar, who recently completed his MBBS course, attempted suicide on August 2.