Kolkata: Recently, an infuriated mob threw bricks at the medicos in NRS Medical College and during the incident, a doctor’s skull was dented, almost taking his life. Horrifically for the medical fraternity in India, this assault incident is one of many where violence against doctors mounts to a murderous levels. Underneath the crucifying act of vandalism of medical facilities is also underlying the lethargy of the legal system in India where the doctors are not being offered complete protection.
The assault of the young medico despite the rule where the Kolkata Police had declared last year that whoever assaults a doctor would serve up to 10 years in jail; and shows incapability of the government and the concerned hospitals’ authorities in taking measures to prevent cases on medical professionals, primarily young doctors who bear the brunt of the patients agitated with the lack of infrastructure and facilities at the hospitals.
Now, taking the last resort to fight back against such violent attacks, the doctors in the state of West Bengal called for a shut down coming forward rightfully demanding adequate security at workplace, direct intervention of the State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and punishment against those who assaulted their colleagues at NRS Medical College.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that following the death of a 75-year-old patient at the institute, the patient’s family had attacked the treating doctors accusing them of medical negligence.
According to the eyewitnesses, the mob of around 150 persons arrived at the medical facility on bikes armed with bricks, sticks and glass shards and charged against the doctors and dragged the hapless junior doctors to the main gate and assaulted them heinously. Then the mob allegedly started raining bricks at the doctors.
During the brutal clash, a junior doctor suffered a depressed fracture in the right frontal lobe of the skull and was admitted in the ICU. Two doctors had sustained injuries on the eyes.
In response to the assault; the doctors at the medical college went on a strike which has now spread to other medical colleges and hospitals. They had demanded punishment for the policemen who allegedly baton charged them during the clash with family members,
Aggrieved with the brutal assault on the doctors, medical professionals from all state-run hospitals have launched a massive protest observing cease work in the state.
Later, the patients agitated with the disruption of regular healthcare services; put up a road blockade near the SSKM Hospital demanding immediate restoration of normalcy in the hospitals.
The situation took a violent turn in Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, where the doctors on strike closed the gates of the facility. 4 doctors got injured when the outsiders hurled stones at them.
A mob threw brickbats on agitating doctors while they were demonstrating near the closed gate injuring two persons.
At Midnapore Medical College, two post-graduate students, including a woman, were heckled, reports TOI.
Showing solidarity to their protesting counterparts who are facing violence from people, oppression from administration and neglect from government, AIIMS, New Delhi resident doctors are working with bandages, helmets and placards demanding Central Protection Act. AIMSA (All India Medical Students Association has also issued an official letter showing condemnation against the incident.
Meanwhile, informing about the condition of the injured doctor, Neurologists at Institute of Neurosciences told TOI, “The patient has suffered depressed fracture in the right frontal region with contusion. He was wheeled into the operation theatre for elevation frontal depression and wound debridement. Luckily, the damage was not very extensive and hence he is recovering well.”
In a communique to all its state presidents and secretaries, the IMA has asked them to organise demonstrations in front of the district collectors’ offices from 10 am to 12 noon tomorrow and hand over a memorandum addressed to the PM Modi to the collectors in every district.
The Delhi Medical Association (DMA) has also urged its members to observe a “Black Day” against the brutal attack today.
“The state branches are expected to release a press statement on Friday expressing solidarity with the resident doctors and condemning the violence. The statement also should emphatically demand a central Act on violence against doctors and hospitals,” the communique said.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare issued a statement appealing to the protesting junior doctors to “immediately withdraw the agitation and restore normalcy in the essential service to the citizens at the earliest”.
The statement said that the CM has been “personally monitoring the entire situation and issuing instructions to the officials concerned for taking action from time to time”.
“We are trying to persuade them to resume work as quickly as possible. This agitation is causing problem to the patients in Kolkata and the entire state,” a senior health department official said.
In addition, Senior Bengal Congress leader and MP AR Chowdhury wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him about the ongoing “cease work” of junior doctors in all hospitals across the state and requested his intervention, reports IANS.