Published: May 3rd, 2017

Self-defence training is being given to nearly 1,500 doctors at a hospital in New Delhi so they can protect themselves from attacks by patients’ relatives.

A spate of attacks against medical staff have led to strikes and protests across India by doctors demanding better security measures in public hospitals.

In Mumbai, a trainee doctor was reportedly beaten by the relatives of a 60-year-old patient who had died from a chronic kidney disease. Three people were arrested in connection to the attack – the third reported in just one week in the area.

Now taekwondo classes will be held in a gym at the capital’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), reported the Hindustan Times.

“We are genuinely concerned about our safety,” said Vijay Gurjar, president of the resident doctors’ association, which requested the martial arts training from the university hospital.

Dr Gurjar told the newspaper AIIMS staff had shown solidarity with more than 2,000 doctors in Mumbai, who went on strike for five days over the issue in March, by wearing motorcycle helmets to work.

Starting in mid-May, two black belt fighters will train the doctors in groups of 100 every evening for six months. An advanced course is also being held over two and a half years.