Updated Jul 26, 2016
Last year in May, Dr Ashok Ramesh (name changed to protect identity), who had been tending to a patient who had undergone surgery for a severe open thigh fracture, was attacked on the premises of the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru by an unknown woman. Ramesh, a postgraduate medical student of Bangalore Medical College, is an orthopaedic resident at the hospital.
Ramesh said that dressings on open fractures, like the one this patient had, needed to be changed frequently, and he and his fellow colleagues would normally change the patient’s blood-soaked bandages every morning. “One day we had OT [operating theatre] duty so we didn’t do his dressing in the morning, but planned to do it in the evening,” said Ramesh, explaining that doctors didn’t tend to other patients before they went into surgery to minimise the risk of infection in operating theatres.
When he returned to the orthopaedic ward that evening, he was detained by a woman who questioned him about the care of the patient. Ramesh refused to engage in a conversation with her because she was not among the family members who had brought the patient to the hospital. “I did the patient’s dressing,” said Ramesh. “When I finished and came out, I don’t know what happened, but she suddenly came running and hit me.”
Protests in vain
In the days after the incident, with little help coming from the police or the hospital management, more than a 100 resident doctors from Bangalore Medical College went on strike to ask for better security in their workplaces. Ramesh said that despite filing a complaint with the police, no action has been taken against his assailant.
“After Dr Ramesh’s attack, the hospital management assured us that they would get lots of CCTV cameras installed and put up new tenders for more security guards,” said Sudhindra Kanavehalli, secretary of the Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors. “But we don’t see that happening.”
But this wasn’t the first time doctors in that hospital were assaulted. In November 2013, a man slapped the doctor attending to his father at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital. The man was among a group of 30-odd relatives visiting the patient. Some of them even chased the doctor out of the ward.
Similarly, on April 30, an angry mob attacked students at MVJ Medical College – which runs a private teaching hospital on the outskirts of Bangalore – after a patient admitted with pneumonia and septicemia died. The 400 students who protested in the following days were given assurances that many other resident doctors had heard before – that action would be taken and security increased.
Link – https://scroll.in/pulse/810866/junior-doctors-keep-getting-beaten-up-but-no-help-is-coming