In a shocking incident, a doctor working at Central Referral Hospital here at 5th Mile, Tadong was allegedly beaten up by relatives of a patient admitted at the hospital recently.

The 0rthopedician was manhandled for asking them to vacate the emergency ward to perform his duty on August 8. He sustained minor injuries during the alleged incident. A police complaint has been lodged at Sadar Police Station here.

CRH sources told SIKKIM EXPRESS that this kind of incident is a regular affair in the hospital but mostly goes unreported.

“All cases of violence are not reported. Doctors often understand the distress of the relatives and do not report some cases to police. This is completely a wrong practice; those who save lives are themselves at risk.

Sometimes we have to undergo extreme verbal abuse by the visitors. We can understand their emotions but resorting to violence will not heal the patient,” said a practicing doctor requesting anonymity.

It is learnt that the doctor was allegedly beaten simply for asking the visitors to vacate to clear the emergency ward because the overcrowding was making the treatment difficult. They got annoyed and manhandled him, the source said. Sadar Police Station in- charge Bijoy Subba informed that the complaint has been lodged against the accused persons and the case is being investigated.

A Gangtok based senior doctor citing a recent study of Indian Medical Association said at least 48.8 percent doctors face such violence while performing duty and most of the incidents occur in emergency cases. It is sad that Sikkim too is not an exception, the doctor added.

An official at STNM hospital here said while physical violence is merely reported, verbal abuse by the patients’ visitors is a regular affair in hospitals. “There are no cases of physically assaulting the doctors but verbal abuse is very common. Almost all the doctors here have undergone such experience,” he said.

A senior retired doctor of STNM hospital who went through similar experience years back said, “There should be some trust and respect towards the people who are involved in treating the patients, taking law in hands is not the solution but the worst way to deal.