Published : March 20, 2017
Mumbai: In the third such attack in a week, a resident doctor at Sion Hospital was allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a patient who died a few hours after being admitted. Three people have been arrested in this connection, police said.
Police said Rekha Ghavari, 60, was suffering from chronic kidney disease and was brought to the hospital in a serious condition at 12.11 a.m. on Saturday. When Ms. Ghavari died the same day at 10.05 p.m., irate relatives descended on Dr. Rohit Kumar, a first-year resident who was treating her, and physically assaulted him. Expressing solidarity with Dr. Kumar, resident doctors at the hospital struck work.
Officers at Sion police station, where the offence was registered, said Ms. Ghavariwas suffering from severe fluid retention when she was brought in. Doctors said the patient was put on dialysis on Saturday morning but her condition continued to deteriorate, and her relatives were informed.
In a letter to Sion Hospital dean Dr. Suleman Merchant, resident doctors claimed the attack had taken place in front of a security guard. “We are scared to work in such hazardous conditions, so we will not be able to do so till strong action is taken,” they said in the letter.
Dr. Merchant, however, said the relatives had tried to assault the doctor but were stopped in time by the hospital security. “It is traumatic for the doctor. We are in the process of establishing stricter protocols to prevent such occurrences.”
In a series of meetings at Sion Hospital on Sunday, it was decided that only senior doctors will break the news of a patient’s death to relatives. A casualty medical officer will be informed at first, who will mobilise security to be on standby when the family is informed. The civic-run KEM Hospital is also planning to keep five guards on standby, who will be called in when a doctor senses tension.
No strike, says MARD
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) refrained from going on a strike as they had assured the court they would not do so. On March 12, a resident doctor in Dhule had been brutally assaulted by distraught relatives after a patient died. In response, MARD had called a state-wide strike but decided against it after a few hours.
Resident doctors from other hospitals like KEM and Nair too have decided to join the strike at Sion Hospital. However, given the court’s order, MARD is not taking any responsibility. “We will go the legal way. Resident doctors going on strike are individually informing their unit heads. They feel it is not a conducive environment to work in,” Dr. Yashowardhan Kabra, president, MARD said.
“Whatever is happening is worrisome. If this continues, no one will want their children to study medicine,” Dr. Shivkumar Utture, member, Indian Medical Association, said. “We have been demanding strict protocol in hospitals that allows only two relatives to visit, but this is not being implemented.” He said such attacks are rare in private hospitals only because they have a strict limit on the number of relatives who can visit the patient. “We are left with no choice but to come out on the roads again to protest,” he said.
Courtesy : The Hindu
Link – http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/doctor-attacked-at-sion-hospital-colleagues-strike-work/article17532967.ece