“If you do not conduct the CT scan of my wife, I will kill you.”
These were the words of a 30-year-old man who forcibly entered the Radiology department of Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), and ordered doctors to see his wife first.
The medics, who were already burdened with 40 patients, were helpless.
Physical assault, abuse, and threats have become a routine sight at most of the government hospitals in Delhi. In the past year, senior doctors of the hospital have been assaulted by patients’ attendants more than 70 times, and more than 18 times the doctors have gone on strike demanding better security and safety in the hospital premises.
A resident doctor at the Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital was attacked after a patient suffered a heart attack and died. (Picture for representation only.)
Lapse in security
Doctors allege that every single day they are either abused or threatened by patients’ attendants or their family members.
“More than 70 times the doctors have been assaulted. Be it a minor scuffle or a major fight. We have been demanding a security system in the hospital to avoid such incidents,” said Dr Ravinder Chauhan, president of the Residents’ Doctors Association (RDA) at LHMC.
On Saturday, a resident doctor at Deep Chand Bandhu hospital (DCBH) was attacked by an attendant of a patient who had suffered a heart attack and later died.
The attendant even went a step ahead and snatched the doctor’s bike keys. The doctors then went on strike for two hours.
“The patient was properly attended by doctors and soon after his death, his family started misbehaving with the junior doctor. We have registered an FIR as they took his bike keys too. The hospital administration has promised us that soon more security guards will be deployed,” said Dr Harshit, vice president, RDA, DCBH.
This is not an isolated case. More than 1,200 resident doctors from Lady Hardinge Medical College and its two associated hospitals went on strike on Thursday after one of its doctors was bitten on his arm by a patient’s relative.
Last month, relatives of an infant who died during treatment at Chacha Nehru Baal Chikitsalaya in east Delhi were seen on camera thrashing doctors.
“We cannot work in such an environment. The hospitals must provide us security,” said a senior doctor.
The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) has been repeatedly raising this issue of safety and security of doctors in the hospital.
According to the association, from June 24 last year to July 24 this year, the doctors have gone on strike more than 18 times.
“We recently had a meeting with the health department officials and conveyed our problems. We are working for the patients and not against them. But our safety is important,” said Dr Pankaj Solanki, president of FORDA.
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