Medico Friend Circle (MFC), a national level network of health professionals and activists committed to Right to Health and Universal Health Care, are shocked and pained by the arrest and detention of its long-standing, senior member Dr. Saibal Jana.
Dr. Jana is chief physician at the Shaheed Hospital in Dalli Rajhara, Chhattisgarh. The hospital was founded in 1983 by the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, led by the late Shankar Guha Niyogi, and was started with money and labour contributed by the workers of the area. The Shaheed hospital is affordable and attracts patients from a radius of a hundred kilometers. It is self sufficient and is part of the RSBY network of empanelled hospitals. Dr. Saibal Jana has dedicated his life to providing medical services at Shaheed Hospital to the labouring poor and marginalized communities for around three decades.
Dr. Jana is deeply respected for his contribution in health care work, saving lives from Falciparum malaria, maternal deaths, tuberculosis and addressing neglected tribal health problems like Sickle cell anaemia.
It is dismaying that Dr. Jana was arrested last week at night in a case dating from 1992 for not appearing in court when he was not even given a notice. We deplore the manner in which Dr Jana was arrested and handcuffed, and that such an arrest was made without a summons being delivered. His bail hearing has been systematically ‘routinely’ postponed and he has been in custody for over a week. This is not only harassment of the personnel of Shaheed Hospital but is also depriving poor patients of much needed medical care at affordable cost.
We urge the government to ensure bail to Dr. Jana at the earliest and the quashing of this false 24 year old case against him.
We assert the right of health professionals to carry out this essential work and demand an immediate stop to all forms of harassment against them.
Medico Friend Circle