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Attacks on Doctors: Kerala doctors stage 12 hr strike, no response from Govt yet
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) held their dawn-to-dusk statewide strike on Friday as announced many days ago to protest against the increasing number of attacks on doctors and demand for immediate arrest of the accused in connection with an attack on a Kozhikode-based senior cardiologist at Fathima Hospital.
Following this, the normal functioning of hospitals in the public and private sectors in Kerala was disrupted except for emergency services, labour room and transplant surgeries. A patient who visited the hospitals yesterday had to return since they had no prior information that OP clinics would not be functioning even after posters were put up in hospitals alerting patients about the strike.
Small clinics, including the dental clinics, were also closed for the day in protest. Several hospitals saw a good number of patients arrive, but all had to go back empty-handed.
Also read- Violence Against Doctors: IMA Kerala Calls For Statewide Strike On March 17
The protest was carried out in all district headquarters by doctors from private and government hospitals along with members of IMA and over 40 professional associations of doctors and hospital managements joining the strike yesterday.
The strike was called in a protest against the delay in arresting the accused involved in attacking a Kozhikode-based senior cardiologist at Fathima Hospital and the state government's failure to act despite numerous court interventions.
The IMA expressed deep concern about the rising number of attacks on health workers in the state. The medical body claimed that the cases have increased in the past three years.
The doctors had demanded that the State come up with an effective method to prevent attacks, arrest people who had attacked the doctor in Kozhikode, implement the High Court’s guidelines, and retract cases against doctors who took part in a recent protest.
Talking to Medical dialogues, IMA state president, Dr Sulphi said "We are in touch with the state government and they have given assurance that they will be coming out with the Amendment in the Hospital Act probably in this assembly session or the next."
He also informed that the bail of three accused who were arrested in the assault case of a senior cardiologist at Fathima Hospital have been rejected by the court yesterday. However, the police are yet to arrest the remaining culprits in connection with the case.
Medical dialogues team had earlier reported that IMA, Kerala had decided to hold a statewide medical strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday i.e March 17, 2023.
The decision came in line after the police failed to arrest the remaining accused concerning the case. Only three out of the six accused have been arrested. It has been nearly a week since any further arrests have been made so far.
The strike was called for 12 hours from 6 am to 6 pm on March 17 to raise their voice against the attack on the doctor while demanding immediate arrest of the accused and a safe environment for doctors to work in hospitals.
While speaking with Medical Dialogues, IMA state secretary Dr Joseph Benaven said "Medical professionals across the state have been requested to join the strike. For the doctors to be protected at work, we demand a strict law and security forces at the hospitals."
Speaking about the Hospital Protection law, Dr Joseph said, "We have a Hospital Protection act in Kerala and requested for an amendment to make it most stringent so that it acts as a deterrent for any person to attack a doctor or medical worker. A proposal in this regard has been submitted to the government. We are waiting for the government's response."
However, there is no response from the state government yet given the recent strike and the order laid down by Kerala HC.
Surprisingly, on the day of the state-wide strike by doctors demanding action to stop the increasing number of hospital attacks, a complaint has been made that a doctor was assaulted in the district.
In his complaint, the doctor claimed that the husband of the employee broke into the hospital in Nulpuzha and assaulted him brutally. As a result, the health condition of the doctor deteriorated and he was treated at the Sultanbatheri Taluk Hospital.
The incident took place on Friday afternoon when the employee brought her husband to confront the doctor because the doctor had warned her to come to work on time for several days. On the other hand, the accused employee's husband says that the doctor's accusation is baseless and that the doctor behaves in such a way as to cause mental difficulties in relation to work, so he went to tell the doctor that her wife is resigning from the job. The husband later claimed that the doctor misbehaved with them, Asianetnews reports.
Later, the doctor filed a complaint against the husband of the employee.
BA in Journalism and Mass Communication
Exploring and learning something new has always been my sole motto. I completed my BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Calcutta University. I joined Medical Dialogues in 2022. I mainly cover the latest health news, hospital news, medical college, and doctors' news.