Indian-origin doctor's 'Gandhigiri' in UK
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A pioneering Indian-origin brain doctor, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, has set on a five-day hunger strike here to protest "unfair" treatment meted to him and his colleagues by the National Health Service for raising 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 underqualified 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, reported today.
"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 today 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 on he will decamp to the statue of Gandhi in Tavistock square.
Britain has a free helpline for whistleblowers in the NHSand social services to ensure that staff can raise "genuine concerns" about standards "without fear of reprisal".
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