Even as govt comes out with ordinance LNJP Doctors become victims of assault
When the doctor asked them to maintain social distancing, the patients started arguing and said if they are detected with corona they will infect them (doctors) as well.
New Delhi: On the day when the union cabinet passed an ordinance to protect doctors against violence, young resident doctors working at Delhi's COVID-only Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP Hospital) hospital were seen becoming victims of assault, by none other than two CATS employees.
In a recent video released by one of the hospital staff, the health personnel and doctors deployed the LNJP institute expressed their plight while narrating the whole incident. The staff said that they are facing such violent attacks and it becomes difficult for them to deal with patients at this crucial time when they are risking their lives including those of their families amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In the 3 minute video, the staff was seen pointing out the recent atrocity faced by them during duty wherein a group of COVID 19 infected patients who were brought to the hospital through CATS ambulance, threatened and manhandled them when the staff asked them to wait for a while. Shockingly, the employees of the CATS were also involved in the assault.
According to the staff, the patients were asked to wait for a while as all the doctors were busy tending other patients but that group did not wait. "Suddenly, they removed his mask and suit and went very close to the doctor," said a male health care staffer. When the doctor asked them to maintain social distancing, the patients started arguing and said if they are detected with corona they will infect them (doctors) as well. Later, when the doctor tried to move them away from him, the patients got aggressive and misbehaved with the doctor.
He added that even female staffer working with CATS ambulance assaulted the doctor following which the Hospital staff called their female guard. Later, a male CATS ambulance employee held our female guard from her neck behind the back and started abusing her, it was further alleged.
"We called the guard to control the situation and they even attacked him and abused us. They were repeatedly threatening that if they are detected with corona they will not leave us as well. We are trying to fight against corona but at the same time, we have to fight with these people as well. They misbehaved with us," the health care staffer said.
A female health care staffer further added , "Our hospital is a COVID-19 designated hospital where we have to battle against COVID-19 day and night but it's difficult for us to work in such a situation."
Aaj Tak reports that the doctors had also made a written complaint to the Director and the CMO, but after the apology from the CATS, a police complaint has not been lodged. Residents Association Association President Parv Mittal said that they are not registering official complaints as well.
Meanwhile, the United Resident Doctors Association (United RDA) further came in support of the doctors and posted the video on Twitter:
However, this incident happening on the day of the passing of the long-standing ordinance shows that it even a law punishable by 7 years is seemingly not able to strike fear in the hearts of those who attack against health workers.
On April 22nd, the Union cabinet amended the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987 through an ordinance in order to ensure the safety of health workers at a time when there has been a spate of attacks on them. Any violence against health workers may now bring steep fines and even imprisonments of up to seven years.
Salient Features of the Ordinance include
Attacks on doctors, paramedic staff and ASHA workers have been made non-bailable and cognizable offences.
These attacks are punishable with imprisonment from 6 months up to 7 years and fine of one lakh up to Rs 5 lakhs.
The police investigation will be complete within a month and the case will be fast-tracked with the final judgment to come within a year.
Those found to be damaging the private clinic or a vehicle belonging to a doctor will be asked to pay compensation amounting to twice the market value of the damaged property or assets.