Scores of medical practitioners, paramedical staff, students of medical and paramedical colleges participated in a protest on Monday against the assault and abduction of assistant professor of Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital Abhijit Sudhakar Shetty by the relatives of a patient who succumbed to illness on May 16.

The doctors, paramedical staff and students took out a protest march from Ambedkar Circle to Nehru Maidan. Following the protest, general and private OPDs in all the hospitals did not function.

However, the in-patient as well as emergency services functioned normally. Addressing the protesters, IMA Mangaluru branch president Dr Raghavendra Bhat said that the attack on a doctor at a hospital at Deralakatte recently has yet again highlighted the vulnerability of medical professionals despite the laws meant to protect them.

Though the state government has put in place the Karnataka Prohibition of Violence against Medicare Service Personnel and Damage to Property in Medicare Service Institutions Act, 2009, hardly any cases are being booked under it. The Act has remained only on paper, he claimed.

The incident of assault and abduction is nothing but an act of terrorism, he said and added that such incidents demoralise the medical fraternity which has become a soft target for hooligans. Such incidents, if allowed to continue unchecked, can have serious repercussions on patients’ care. The district administration and the police should ensure that such incidents do not recur in Dakshina Knanada district, he said.

“Mangaluru is a medical hub. This is a big insult to our profession. It should never recur. The recent incident has caused massive anguish and great despair among doctors, nurses and other medical fraternity in Mangaluru and Udupi.

Scores of medical practitioners, paramedical staff, students of medical and paramedical colleges participated in a protest on Monday against the assault and abduction of assistant professor of Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital Abhijit Sudhakar Shetty by the relatives of a patient who succumbed to illness on May 16.

The doctors, paramedical staff and students took out a protest march from Ambedkar Circle to Nehru Maidan. Following the protest, general and private OPDs in all the hospitals did not function.

However, the in-patient as well as emergency services functioned normally. Addressing the protesters, IMA Mangaluru branch president Dr Raghavendra Bhat said that the attack on a doctor at a hospital at Deralakatte recently has yet again highlighted the vulnerability of medical professionals despite the laws meant to protect them.

Though the state government has put in place the Karnataka Prohibition of Violence against Medicare Service Personnel and Damage to Property in Medicare Service Institutions Act, 2009, hardly any cases are being booked under it. The Act has remained only on paper, he claimed.

The incident of assault and abduction is nothing but an act of terrorism, he said and added that such incidents demoralise the medical fraternity which has become a soft target for hooligans. Such incidents, if allowed to continue unchecked, can have serious repercussions on patients’ care. The district administration and the police should ensure that such incidents do not recur in Dakshina Knanada district, he said.

“Mangaluru is a medical hub. This is a big insult to our profession. It should never recur. The recent incident has caused massive anguish and great despair among doctors, nurses and other medical fraternity in Mangaluru and Udupi.

The medical fraternity is feeling utterly disappointed, humiliated and frustrated. This seems to be the only civilised manner left to protest,” he added. He demanded zero tolerance to violence in health care.

Nitte University pro chancellor Dr Shantharam Shetty said all doctors are duty bound and work as per the protocol on treatment. The allegation of negligence by the doctors are farce, he said.

Several times, the issue of medical negligence come when family has to pay bills in hospitals, Dr Shetty said and added that the government policy has made treatments expensive.

He urged the district administration and the police not to succumb to political pressure and all the accused in the incident of manhandling and abducting the doctor should be punished. “Our goodness should not become our weakness,” he added.

Ninty-year-old Srinivas Kamath, a patient who took part in the protest, said that none should take law into hands. If there was any lapse on the part of the doctors, then patients can approach consumer forum or court seeking justice, he said.

In a representation submitted to Deputy Commissioner Dr K G Jagadeesha, the Association of Medical Consultants said that deputy commissioner should form a coordination committee to review the action regarding the previous incidents of assault on doctors as per the law and Supreme Court guidelines.

The doctors should be provided a safe working environment to provide the best treatment and save patients, the association has said.

Courtesy: Dailyhunt

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