High Court takes suo motu note of doctors’ safety concerns


NEW DELHI,MAY 04, 2017 01:03 IST

Increasing incidents of violence against hospital staff ‘compels’ HC to demand status report on security provisions in 10 days
Taking suo motu cognisance of increasing incidents of violence against doctors in government hospitals , the Delhi High Court on Wednesday called for a status report in 10 days from the Centre, the Delhi government, Indian Medical Association and AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association with regard to security provisions for doctors, nurses and staff.

High patient load

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra also directed the Centre and the Delhi government to furnish details of operationalisation of all public hospitals in Delhi as well as the increase in their patient load.
“Compelled” to take up the issue on its own and register the same as a writ petition, the Bench said: “Judicial notice can be taken of the fact that since the time hospitals commenced operations, patient loads have grossly increased. There is no evidence at all of any change in the number of medical experts put in place by those in authority to man these hospitals and provide patient care.”

The Bench has also sought the details of the facilities for patients; number of doctors and actual patient load, both in terms of out patients and in-patients, in Delhi hospitals.

The court made the observations while taking note of a media report on self-defence training for AIIMS doctors.: “The report would suggest that one in two doctors in public hospitals faces violence and that there has been an increase in incidents of violence against the doctors in public hospitals. It also appears that the violence is not only verbal, but also physical. Matters have reached such a pass that the AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association has decided to train its doctors in taekwondo to protect themselves.”
‘Violence against violence’

Emphasising the expression “self-defence”, the Bench said: “The very expression “self-defence training” would suggest that doctors are contemplating violence in retaliation to the violence targeted at them. This is certainly not the answer. Looked from any angle, violence from either side cannot be tolerated or permitted… The matter seems to have attained such proportions that it deserves imperative attention.”

The Bench said it was compelled to take cognisance of the “alarming situation” as the two problems of doctors facing violence and non-availability of adequate medical attention to the patients have to be considered in tandem and undoubtedly involve public interest. “One of the reasons for such incidents is the grievance of patients/ attendants of what is perceived as delay in receiving medical attention. On the other hand, the doctors point out their being grossly overworked.

Perhaps doctors are the only professionals who officially discharge 24-hour duty regimes. These hard-working doctors take life-saving decisions in split seconds in the most difficult working conditions,” the Bench noted.

Courtesy: The Hindu
Link – http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/high-court-takes-suo-motu-note-of-doctors-safety-concerns/article18380048.ece