IN yet another instance of violence against medical practitioners, junior resident doctor Rohit Kumar was assaulted by relatives of a patient declared dead in Sion hospital Saturday night. Following the episode, doctors in Sion hospital have refused to work citing threat to their life. Doctors from other BMC-run hospitals, KEM and Nair, are also expected to extend support to the protest. A case was registered with the Sion police and three people, including the deceased patient’s son, have been arrested. In a letter to dean Dr Suleman Merchant, doctors have said they “are scared to work in hazardous conditions”. “We will not be able to give our services,” said the letter.
The incident occurred in ward 20 of the hospital. Patient Rekha Singh (60) was admitted Friday midnight for a chronic kidney ailment. She underwent dialysis Saturday morning. According to the doctors treating her, Rekha was in a critical condition and suffered from fluid overload. She died by night.
“The patient’s relatives were explained the poor prognosis,” said a doctor. According to him, the patient was previously admitted in nephrology department but took discharge against medical advice. When her condition deteriorated, her family brought her back to the hospital.
While the patient died at 10.05 pm, a group of relatives got hold of on-duty resident doctor Kumar at 10.30 pm and thrashed him in front of security guards. Kumar, who is from Chhattisgarh, is afflicted by polio. While security guards intervened and saved him from a more brutal assault, doctors said Kumar had been in a state of trauma since the attack.
“The resident doctors are all scared. They are not going on strike but have refused to come and work,” said a resident doctor from Sion hospital. Doctors held a candle light march Sunday evening in protest against the latest assault.
This is the fourth such case to be reported in the state this week. “In this case, security stopped relatives from harming the doctor further. We need more conviction in such cases,” said dean Dr Suleman Merchant. Though arrests were taking place, the doctors said, such incidents were on a rise due to poor legal action against the attackers.
“We are also framing guidelines that death should be declared by a senior doctor and not junior doctors. They are already overworked and communication may be getting hampered with patients,” said Merchant.
There are 123 sanctioned posts for security personnel in the 1,800-bed Sion hospital, of which 25 are vacant. The civic body has outsourced security of hospitals to private companies.