HUNGER STRIKER: Dr Narinder Kapur was sacked for blowing the whistle over under-qualified staff treating patients
AN INDIAN-ORIGIN brain doctor, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, has set on a five-day hunger strike in London to protest “unfair” treatment of him and his colleagues by the National Health Service. They had raised concerns about Britain’s health services.
Dr Narinder Kapur, a world authority on brain behaviour, was sacked from a Cambridge hospital in 2010 for blowing the whistle over under-qualified and unsupervised staff treating patients at the hospital - a practice he claimed was endangering patients. In July, a British employment tribunal ruled that the 62-year-old former president of the British Neuropsychological Society had been unfairly dismissed, but he was not reinstated, a news report said on Tuesday (October 2). “I undertake this five-day hunger-strike with reluctance but with resolve. It pains my heart to see how failures in the NHS have contributed directly or indirectly to harming patient care, to a waste of public funds and to distress for NHS staff and their families,” Dr Kapur said. “I take my inspiration from the actions and words of Mahatma Gandhi, whose birthday is on October 2 and who also engaged in peaceful protests that included fasting.” The doctor on Tuesday (October 2) staged the second day of the five-day hunger strike outside the Department of Health head office. Dr Kapur believes the NHS is rife with “failures” and feels staff are not treated or managed correctly, which has lead to the mistreatment of patients. He is calling on the government to impose a complete change to the health service and get rid of a “dictatorial and secretive” management structure. Dr Kapur will camp outside the building in Westminster, London, for the whole week and if he gets moved, he will camp near the statue of Gandhi in Tavistock square. Britain has a free helpline for whistleblowers in the NHS and social services to ensure that staff can raise “genuine concerns” about standards “without fear of reprisal”.
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