A day after an argument between Lok Nayak Hospital staff and a Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) ambulance paramedic staff turned into a physical fight, the Resident Doctors’ Association wrote to the hospital’s medical director, condemning the assault.
“Proceedings of FIR by the CMO on duty have been started,” read the letter.
Two videos surfaced after the incident. In the first one, a guard and the CATS staff were seen arguing even as police personnel tried to control the situation. The CATS staff is wearing a protective coat, which is torn. In the second video, the staff narrates the incident to a policeman.
Later, doctors from the hospital, wearing protective gear, uploaded a video on social media and appealed to the masses. They alleged that the CATS personnel was not wearing a mask. “Doctors were busy at the time and ambulance staff were asked to wait. They became impatient and questioned a doctor. They were not wearing masks.
When we asked them to wear a mask, they threatened the doctors, saying that if they get COVID, they will ensure that doctors do too,” claimed a doctor.
“They then took off their masks and came close to the doctors. When the doctor asked them to maintain distance, they became aggressive and started attacking the doctor. We sent a female guard to deal with the woman. The male CATS staff tried to throttle the female guard while abusing her,” said the doctor.
“Our hospital is now a COVID-19 designated hospital. We do not understand if we are to fight the virus or problems like these,” added another doctor.
However, CATS employees said the situation played out differently. “A paramedic staff and driver were transporting a patient from RML to Lok Nayak on the advice of doctors. When they reached, doctors made them wait for a long time and eventually refused to admit the patient due to lack of space. They attacked the paramedic when she questioned them,” claims Rajkumar, a CATS employee.
“She was in full protective gear. You can see for yourself in the video,” he added, referring to the second video.
The paramedic alleged, “I told them that we have bought a positive patient but they refused to admit the patient. When I questioned them, the CMO pushed me and another doctor attacked me.”
The Lok Nayak administration later said, “The matter of misunderstanding and consequently ensuing altercation between the CATS ambulance attendants and accident & emergency staff of Lok Nayak Hospital was amicably resolved by the intervention of senior officers of both the organisations, CATS and LNH, after staff members of both organisations involved in the incident felt that any and all differences need to be kept aside in view of the ongoing COVID pandemic.”
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