Violence against Doctors: Sion Hospital Residents resume duties after safety assurance, Dean releases provision for institutional FIR
Mumbai: The resident doctors from Mumbai-based Sion Hospital, who were protesting against the assault on an on-duty resident doctor by the relatives of a patient, have finally resumed their duties after getting written assurance from the Additional Municipal Commissioner (AMC) regarding the safety of the doctors working in the hospital.
After the incident of assault on June 25, another incident of abuse triggered the doctors and they resorted to mass leave, informed one of the medicos of Sion Hospital. However, the issue was soon resolved after the culprits were arrested and the AMC assured the doctors about increasing the safety measures. Finally, the resident doctors resumed their duty at 11 pm yesterday. Moreover, the Dean of the Hospital issued a guideline regarding lodging an institutional FIR in case of violence against doctors at the facility.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that despite calling for stringent action against those who attack doctors, an on-duty doctor at a Civic-run Sion Hospital was assaulted by two brothers after their father died during treatment last week.
On Sunday night, doctors at Sion Hospital demanded justice by lighting candles after the incident and marching in front of the hospital premises seeking to arrest the accused.
In fact, in a letter directed to the Dean of the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College Hospital, aka Sion Hospital, the resident doctors under the banner of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had submitted several demands. The doctors had warned the administration that "In case our demands are not met, the Residents of LTMGH and LTMMC will go on total mass leave from 2 pm on 28th June, 2021. The administration will be solely responsible for the inconvenience caused to the patients."
The demands of the doctors included, immediate arrest of the accused and charge them with The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020 No 34 of 2020 as well as for assault against a Female resident, show case notice to the AMO for the delay in addressing the issue, increase in the security posting (1 security per ward), installation of an emergency button, ensuring enough staff and taking strict action for their absence, and making a provision for Institutional FIR.
Acting promptly, the Dean of the Hospital took care of two of those demands- the culprits were arrested and the Dean had issued a guideline regarding lodging an institutional FIR if any incidence of violence against doctors happened.
"It is hereby requested to all the AMOs on Call that whenever such an incidence occurs it should be reported to Dean/Additional Dean/any Dy. Dean & immediately institutional FIR be lodged to the police station. This should be done immediately within an hour. If the police station does not accept FIR then immediately a written intimation be given to the police station signed by AMO on duty on behalf of administration," mentioned the guideline issued by Dr. Mohan Joshi, Dean of Sion Hospital.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr. Akshay Yadav, President of SION MARD said, "We submitted our demands to Dean Sir at 10 pm on Sunday. Yesterday morning he called us and we are thankful to him that he took care of two demands out of the seven demands we mentioned. Next time an institutional FIR would be there as a guideline has been issued regarding this."
"However, few of our demands including the show-cause notice to the AMO were still to be addressed. So, the doctors took the mass leave from 2 pm. The Dean sir informed us that rest of the demands could be fulfilled only after a meeting with the AMC," he added.
A meeting was held at 6 p.m. yesterday and the AMC assured about revamping the security in all central and peripheral hospitals. Chief Security Officer was instructed to find out a way for efficient security management on every floor and assurance was given that patrolling groups would be formed to take care of security.
Taking note of the demands made by MARD regarding one security per ward, the AMC suggested that the exact plan would be made by the Chief Security Officer and the plan would be shared with all stakeholders.
After getting the assurance that the new security plan would be implemented within one week, the resident doctors resumed their duties at around 11 p.m. yesterday.
"The doctors joined within 15 minutes of getting the written assurance" added doctor Yadav.
Although the doctor thanked the Police for their prompt action, they also questioned why the action was taken only after the protest and not before that. Speaking about the matter, Dr. Yadav added, "We are thankful to Police that they acted immediately and arrested the accused. However, we feel that the arrest should have been made before we took the path of protest because what about the doctor who had to go through an immense mental trauma because of this whole incident?"
"We are going through a tremendous mental trauma when we have to go to work. We just want adequate security inside the ward because otherwise, we become worried when we have to declare a patient and have to think about the consequences. We can't blame the relatives as they are already going through a lot but why do we suffer violence because of inadequate security?"
For now, the situation has been resolved and the doctors are waiting for the rest of their demands to be implemented. Meanwhile, several other associations of resident doctors had come forward in the support of Sion hospital doctors and raised their voice regarding the issue on social media platforms.
FAIMA wrote, "@FAIMA_INDIA_ demands Strict Action against the Culprit of this inhumane act of violence against 2 Resident Doctors of LTMGH Sion Hospital, Mumbai. This is the respect given by Public to Our Covid Heroes."
IMA-JDN also came forward and expressed their solidarity with the Sion doctors. They wrote, "We stand in full support of @sionmard @CentralMARD21 we are ready to take actions at National level too in case their demands are not met!"