How it started
Doctors in India, has historically been without any professional union or body that can cater to their various employment related needs. The closest to an umbrella organization with a Pan India presence is the IMA with various state offices all across the country. Uniquely in the eyes of the Bengal doctors, these organizations,have often been perceived to be failing the minimum standard expectations. WBDF aims to fulfill the void left by the absence of an effective doctors “trade union”. The concept of a trade union is not new- British Medical Association is one such reputed example we proudly draw our inspiration from.
Work place violence has become a common occurrence in the medical profession. This is deterring not only the newer generations from pursuing medicine as a profession but also jeopardizing the very existence of the medical fraternity. Moreover, the Bengal Government has so far been unable to ensure, provide or guarantee a safe working environment for all physicians.
To add insult to injury, the recently implemented West Bengal Clinical Establishment Act 2017, has framed some unrealistic expectation from the ordinary physicians of Bengal. The steep penalties imposed by the state commission, the unreasonable provisions of medical judgments by a group of non-medically qualified council, the inclusion of a single doctor establishment under the ambit of the Act, etc. are examples of further professional hindrance. It must be remembered, that medical profession in India has always been one of the most scrutinized profession with accountability to both the State and the Central Medical Council along with provisions for liabilities from the Consumer protection group. What most of the physicians now fail to understand is the need for a further act or a commission to judge the same alleged negligence.
It is therefore natural that the Doctors in Bengal feel both marginalized and victimized. Also the rampant violence in our workplace adds to our daily discomfort. Following the hurried implementation of the new Act, there has been mass protest from doctors of all rank and files all across the state. What started as an emotional discussion in the electronic media rapidly grew into a membership of more than 16000 doctors representing doctors all across Bengal. The call was of a unified agenda of Protection in Workplace and Fair Rules of Judgments in our professional matters.
The electronic platform gradually evolved into the present West Bengal Doctors Forum. From a humble beginning, we have now more than 1900 paid members with further 14000 members in the electronic forums. We have in our advisory board some of the most eminent medical personalities of the city. We have legally challenged the various provisions of this new anti –doctor Act.