Violence against doctors: IMA Kerala calls for statewide strike on March 17
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to hold a statewide medical strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday i.e March 17, 2023. The strike has been 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...
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to hold a statewide medical strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday i.e March 17, 2023. The strike has been 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 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 will be 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.
Holding a press conference, IMA State president N. Sulphi and secretary Joseph Benaven informed that the emergency department and labour room will be functional. However, they urge patients to visit the hospitals only in dire need.
The police are taking no further action, as has been claimed by the members of IMA. It has been reported that the main accused, along with three others who were charged with assaulting the cardiologist, were allowed to escape by the police.
Commenting on this, IMA state secretary Dr Joseph Benaven told Medical Dialogues, " We have always seen that there is a delay in police action when it comes to violence against a medical professional. The police prepare the FIR without including all the provisions of Hospital Acts. Moreover, the main accused who is the husband of the patient has not been yet arrested. Only three out of 6 have been arrested so far."
" 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," he added.
Medical dialogues team had earlier reported that the Kozhikode chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) boycotted OPD services and other services except for labour wards and casualty treatment. The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) also extended support to the protesting doctors of government hospitals in Kozhikode.
The incident took place when a group of people accompanied a pregnant patient who got admitted to the facility. The patient was from Kunnamangalam and had a high temperature when admitted to the city's Fathima Hospital on February 24. The doctors indicated that even though the patient underwent C-Section surgery, the baby could not be saved as her health condition was constantly deteriorating.
Following this, the doctor was assaulted inside the hospital, accusing him of intentionally delaying the CT scan report.
"Every month within the state, there is almost an attack on a doctor every five to six days. Although the state government have said that it will take action against the issue. However, no such promises have been fulfilled yet," said Dr Joseph.
Although the IMA applauded the state government's reform of the Hospital Protection Law, they expressed their anguish at the way the 60-year-old senior cardiologist was assaulted.
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 have been submitted to the government. We are waiting for the government's response."
On the other hand, the state government is not following court orders. No steps have been taken so far by the government against attacks on doctors. Earlier, the High Court directed to register an FIR and take action within an hour if health workers are attacked but this is not being followed in the state.
The doctor’s community is worried a lot these days. This is because violence against doctors has been increasing each day due to the lack of proper security and the law to take action against the deed.
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.