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Delhi’s Lok Nayak doctors say attacked by patient

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The incident took place in surgical block 5A at 5.20 pm. In a letter to the hospital’s medical director, the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) claimed a patient at the ward hurled abuses and passed vulgar comments at a woman resident doctor on duty.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: April 16, 2020 8:20:00 am
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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Doctors, including a woman resident doctor, at Lok Nayak Hospital have alleged they were attacked by patients on Tuesday evening while on duty at the COVID-19 ward.

The incident took place in surgical block 5A at 5.20 pm. In a letter to the hospital’s medical director, the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) claimed a patient at the ward hurled abuses and passed vulgar comments at a woman resident doctor on duty.

“When the accompanying doctor objected, the patient gathered others admitted in the ward and started threatening doctors and staff. Healthcare workers had to rush to the duty room and hide inside while patients tried to break open the door,” alleged Dr Parv Mittal, president, RDA of Maulana Azad Medical Association and associated hospitals.

Located in Central Delhi, the top Delhi government hospital has been declared a dedicated COVID-19 facility.

Lok Nayak Hospital medical director Dr J C Passey said: “Yesterday evening, a patient became abusive and aggressive and started threatening a female resident doctor. She was frightened and rushed towards the duty room, where she locked herself in along with others. This patient then called many other patients and threatened our staff. There was some delay in response from security guards, police personnel and senior faculty members on duty. An FIR against the culprit is being filed and we have suspended the security guard and the supervisor. The matter is being investigated and more police personnel are being deployed in the hospital.”

The RDA said the incident revealed lapses of security and negligence at various levels. The association said they called floor in-charges, the Chief Medical Officer and on-duty security officer several times but no one came.

“Marshals and guards refused to enter the ward as they did not have PPE kits. The security guard and the police officer posted at the surgical block did not respond even after seeing and hearing the security alarm at the fifth floor,” said Dr Mittal.

The association demanded that an institutional FIR be filed against the patient, sought urgent deployment of armed policemen at all COVID-19 wards and action against the security officer. It also demanded a letter of explanation and disciplinary action against the floor in-charges and CMO.

DCP (Central) Sanjay Bhatia denied the allegations and said they did not receive a PCR call.

A senior officer said, “We have deployed more than 14 personnel outside the hospital. If they want police to take action, they have to give us a complaint (written or verbal).”

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